KARACHI: The Karachi police launched a campaign against unvaccinated individuals and arrested 33 persons in different parts of the city on Friday after the Sindh chief secretary expressed concerns over the police for not ‘taking interest’ in checking the vaccines cards of the people.

On Sept 22, the Sindh home department had issued stating that “carrying of vaccination cards at different places by the employees of certain establishments and visitors to various places or facilities has been made mandatory, and inspection of vaccination cards has been entrusted to the law enforcement agencies”.

A police spokesperson told Dawn that 33 persons had been taken into custody for not possessing proof of vaccination and 18 cases under Section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Pakistan Penal Code and Section 4 of the Sindh Epidemics Disease Act of 2014 were registered against them on behalf of the state.

All the arrests were made in the East zone of the police’s organisational structure, the spokesperson said.

Sindh govt has ordered law enforcement agencies to take action against people without vaccination cards

Sohrab Goth SHO Zubair Nawaz said police arrested two persons, identified as Muhammad Khalid and Habib Rehman, when they failed to produce their vaccination cards during checking on a main road in Ayub Goth.

He said that the both the held persons were young and they told the police that they did not get the vaccine because of a lack of awareness about it.

The SHO said that the police began checking Covid-19 vaccination certificates from passengers and people visiting markets.

The police action against unvaccinated people was being taken on the directives of the home department, which had written a letter inspector general of police, Rangers director general and Karachi commissioner.

The letter stated that action should be taken over non-implementation of standard operating procedures while fines should also be imposed.

CS concerned over lack of action

It noted that the chief secretary had observed with ‘great concern’ that the law enforcers and district administration were not taking due interest in “checking of vaccination cards”.

“Legal action including registration of cases or imposition of fine has also not been carried out by the authorised officers,” the letter reads.

The chief secretary had directed the ‘authorised officers’ and law enforcement personnel to “take keen interest in checking vaccination cards of the concerned persons and the violators must be taken to task under the law”.

The letter warned that the officers’ performance would be judged by the chief secretary on the basis of their interest taken in the matter.

Officials said that subsequently, the police, through a letter issued by AIGP Haider Raza on Sept 22 had issued directions to police officers to start a campaign of checking of Covid-19 vaccination cards ‘immediately’.

The police officers were directed to submit a report containing legal action against unvaccinated persons on a daily basis, it added.

Published in Dawn, September 25th, 2021

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