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KARACHI: City police chief Dr Ameer Ahmed Shaikh on Wednesday directed policemen on patrolling duty to not harass couples by asking them to produce their nikahnama (marriage certificate).

Taking notice of police harassment of couples, the city police chief pointed out that there was a “general complaint” that policemen patrolling in mobile vans and motorcycles “harass and humiliate” couples by asking them for proof of marriage.

He directed DIGs of three police zones of the city to issue “strict instructions to their subordinate staff not to demand nikahnama from any person”.

The city police chief seeks early closure of marriage halls to curb street crimes

“In future such complaints shall not be tolerated and action against supervising officers will be initiated,” he warned in an order issued on Wednesday.

Action against shisha bars

The police chief pointed out that a number of cafés, restaurants and hotels in the metropolis were serving shisha to their customers, especially youngsters, which contains hundreds of potentially dangerous substances dangerous to human health. Besides, it is in violation of the directives of the Supreme Court regarding a ban on shisha bars in 2015, he stated in the order.

He directed the zonal DIGs to issue strict directions to their subordinate staff “to start a crackdown against shisha bars and take action against the persons involved and report progress”.

Also on Wednesday, Dr Shaikh asked the DIGs and SSPs concerned to prepare a comprehensive plan by Friday to deal with “nuisance” caused by certain people on weekends in different parts of the city.

He stated that a few people in a festive and jubilant mood performed wheelies on their motorbikes, resorted to one-way violation, played loud music and blocked roads by dancing in the middle of the thoroughfare on weekend nights.

Such activities particularly on Khayaban-i-Ittehad, Sharea Faisal and Shahrah-i-Pakistan resulted in trouble and nuisance for general public at large, he added.

“Plans should also mention the patrolling areas and checking points and traffic police personnel should also be made part of the plan,” he said.

Ban on firecrackers sought

The Karachi police chief also approached the Sindh home department asking it to impose a ban on use of firecrackers, aerial firing and opening of marriage lawns after midnight under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

In a letter addressed to the home secretary, the city police chief pointed out that use of firecrackers and aerial firing in jubilation on festivities like marriages had become a routine affair.

“Loud deafening noises of firecrackers especially in and around marriage halls have made lives of citizens, particularly the elderly people and patients, miserable,” he stated.

Early closure of marriage halls

He also urged the home secretary to impose a ban on opening of marriage halls after midnight.

He said that functions were being continued in the marriage halls after midnight. “The criminals [take] advantage of late-night functions and commit robberies/snatching of jewellery and valuables from guests especially women,” he said.

The home department was asked to issue an order to close marriage halls by 2359 hours (midnight) by imposing Section 144 of the CrPC “in order to provide relief to both guests and hosts and to curb street crimes”.

Published in Dawn, October 11th, 2018