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KARACHI: The Sindh government has decided to shift 270 notorious prisoners, including 19 ‘most dangerous’ prisoners, from the Central Jail Karachi to other prisons in the province within the next 10 days by declaring them “high-security jails”. 

Of all the cases pending against the 270 notorious prisoners, 110 cases, including the Amjad Sabri murder case, would be sent to military courts for trial.

The decision was taken at the 20th apex committee meeting, which was presided over by Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and attended by Corps Commander Lt Gen Shahid Baig Mirza, DG Rangers Maj Gen Mohammad Saeed, and the chief secretary besides other officers on Friday. 

Documents of ‘illegally’ built seminaries to be checked

The meeting also decided to launch an operation in the katcha area with aerial support and a force comprising personnel of the Rangers, police and armed forces. The modality of the operation would be finalised by the Rangers and IG police.

Reviewing street crimes, the apex committee decided to deal with the menace with iron hand and approved to send their cases for trial in special courts under antiterror laws. The meeting was informed that the data of terrorists was being compiled for which the Sindh Police were working closely with the Punjab police and sharing record.

Referring to the renewed wave of targeted killing of policemen, the meeting was informed that the law enforcers were close to busting a gang involved in the killings.

The Sindh government had sent 90 cases to military courts. Of them, only 37 were tried in the military courts, which awarded capital punishment in 21 cases. But not a single execution had taken place so far because of appeals.

Referring to the mushroom growth of seminaries, it was decided to check NOCs and other documents of some 1,000 seminaries ‘illegally’ built on government land. Sixty such seminaries were set up in the Hindu-dominated areas of Tharparkar during the past four years.

Other issues which came under discussion at the apex committee for policy decision included the installation of SIMs in cars, motorbikes and activation of tracking system in mobile phones and security of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar and Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai shrines.

The meeting termed land grabbing an organised crime and assigned the task to protect public and private property to district administration as well as police. 

Besides, the apex committee was told that the ministry of interior, on the Sindh government’s recommendation, had placed 69 organisations on Schedule 1, while the provincial government had also placed 573 persons on Schedule 4. 

The chief minister directed the police chief to implement Fourth Schedule in true letter and spirit. The ‘fourth schedulers’ must comply with the law for which police stations might be directed accordingly.

The meeting was told that 7,095 Afghan refugees had been repatriated, 3,135 illegal Afghans booked, 5,073 Afghans living here illegally arrested and 888 Afghans deported.

Of the 270 notorious prisoners, 19 were running their networks through different ways. The chief minister directed the home department that 110 prisoners’ cases which were fit for trial by military courts, after scrutiny by the home, law and Counter-Terrorism Departments, be sent within two weeks to military courts with supporting documents.

The apex committee discussed the re-emergence of proscribed organisations with new names and decided that intelligence agencies along with law enforcers would investigate such cases.

The meeting approved to send 10 more cases, including that of Amjad Sabri’s murder, to military courts. 

The apex body also discussed growing number of cybercrime cases and decided to seek powers from the federal government to register and investigate such cases. 

Published in Dawn, August 12th, 2017