IGP chairs law and order meeting as Sindh, Centre tussle over replacement

January 18, 2020

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Centre tells Sindh that the IGP could not be unilaterally repatriated or transferred. — Sindh Police/File
Centre tells Sindh that the IGP could not be unilaterally repatriated or transferred. — Sindh Police/File

Sindh Inspector General of Police Dr Syed Kaleem Imam on Saturday chaired a high-level meeting about the law and order situation in Karachi.

The meeting came as the federal government informed the Sindh government that it cannot unilaterally repatriate or transfer the IGP and the caretaker charge could not be given to any additional IG as the practice is not enshrined in the concerned agreement, according to officials and sources.

Earlier this week, the Sindh cabinet had decided to write to the Establishment Division to seek IGP Imam's removal. However, the move was met with immediate criticism by the PTI lawmakers from Sindh, who vowed to block it.

Today's meeting held at the Central Police Office was attended by the city police chief, DIGs and SSPs. Apart from Karachi, other additional IGs, DIGs and SSPs attended the meeting through video link, a police spokesperson said.

At the start of the meeting, the participants prayed for the two policemen who were recently martyred in the city while fighting against criminals.

Imam observed that 28 policemen were martyred in the year 2019 and two policemen lost their lives in the ongoing month. He pointed out that most of the deceased policemen were young and had been recently recruited into the department.

The IGP asked officers to work towards enhancing the police's image in the eyes of the people.

He appreciated the police performance for controlling crimes and establishing peace, noting that overall street crimes have reduced by up to seven per cent.

Because of perceived effective measures and impartial policing, Karachi’s rank on the international crime index has fallen to 88 from six in the year 2013.

The Sindh police chief said during the meeting that he believed that the registration of FIRs has increased because of police's "free" FIR policy. Besides, police also took action against persons who lodged ‘false’ FIRs and at least 89 such persons were punished by courts after legal proceedings were initiated against them.

Imam told the participants that the purpose of encouraging people to get FIRs registered is to assess crime patterns in the region and bring the culprits to justice.

The IGP vowed that police will further improve the situation in Karachi and other parts of the province.

‘Key inadequacies’

The meeting was also informed about the "key inadequacies" being faced by police.

It was stated that under the new police law, a notification is yet to be issued for the post of IGP Sindh to be ex-officio secretary and principal accounting officer.

Other issues being faced by the police pertained to non-issuance of notification for reallocation of police stations and not granting the title of lands of many police station buildings owing to which the funds could not be utilised for the repair of the same.

It was pointed out that action on reports sent against senior police officers was still pending with the provincial government. Furthermore, no arms and ammunition or vehicles were purchased by police in the past financial year because of a lack of budget.

Other major issues highlighted in the meeting included the non-materialisation of the Safe City Project, pending trial of street criminals through model courts, pending allotment of 300 acres of lands in Surjani Town for families of martyred policemen and the failure to establish a forensic science agency.

It was also stated that for the last few years, the operational budget of Sindh police is constantly on the decline, according to sources familiar with the meeting.