KARACHI: Police on Wednesday informed Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah that around 7,500 criminals involved in incidents of street crime were roaming freely in the metropolis and there was a need to trace and track them through an electronic tagging.

Perturbed at the alarming rise in street crime in the metropolis, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah chaired the second meeting to review the situation and made it clear that he wanted to rid Karachi of the menace of street crime.

He asked police high-ups to make a result-oriented strategy and any officer found negligent must be removed from his office forthwith.

The chief minister recalled that in his last meeting against street crime he had directed the police to start extensive patrolling and take strict action against street criminals.

CM wants e-tagging legislation expedited; youth centres to be set up in every district of metropolis

Karachi police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon told the meeting that there were 7,500 offenders who had been committing street crime in the metropolis as they were either enlarged on bail or absconding.

When asked, Law Adviser Murtaza Wahab informed the CM that a draft law for E-tagging of repeat offenders had been prepared and sent for vetting. The CM asked him to expedite the process so that the draft law could be discussed and approved by the provincial cabinet.

Discussing the cancellation of bail of repeat criminals and strengthening the prosecution, Mr Shah directed the law adviser and the inspector general of police to engage a panel of leading lawyers to prosecute criminals and cancellation of their bail.

He also directed the police to engage private lawyers for prosecuting criminals involved in high-profile cases.

The city police chief told the CM that during the first two months of 2022, 15 suspected criminals were killed and 147 wounded in some 143 encounters.

He added that 1,446 criminals had been arrested during the same period.

The chief minister was told that patrolling has been increased in the city and intelligence-based targeted operations were also in progress.

Giving progress of arranging a rehabilitation centre for drug addicts, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah said that he had identified a suitable place in Gulshan-i-Maymar.

The chief minister directed the chief secretary to provide all the required facilities at the proposed centre so that police could start picking up the addicts from streets and send them for rehabilitation.

“The drug addicts are involved in street crime, therefore their removal from streets was most important,” he said.

Youth centres

The CM decided to establish youth centres in all the districts of Karachi to improve physical and behavioural fitness of youngsters.

“Youth centres provide a safe and supervised facility for youth to engage in educational and leisure activities, which encourage the growth of positive self-esteem,” he said while presiding over another meeting to review development works launched in the city.

The chief minister said that he had already directed the planning and development department to prepare a scheme to establish youth centres in every district of the city where educational, social, sport and family gathering could be held in a safe and secure environment.

“We have a similar facility in the shape of YMCA ground, but the new centres would have a library, indoor and outdoor sports facilities, tuck /coffee shops, film/drama screening facility, community gathering hall,” he added.

The CM was told that during the current financial year, Rs96 billion had been allocated in the annual development programme 2021-22 for Karachi, including Rs56.5bn for 644 schemes, Rs35.3bn provincial share, Rs215bn foreign funded projects, and Rs5 billion to fund district ADP.

He was further informed that under Karachi Transformation Plan, 167 schemes of water and sewerage treatment worth Rs101.28bn were in progress and the allocation for the current financial year was Rs17.25bn against which Rs10.8bn had been utilised.

Published in Dawn, March 3rd, 2022

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