• Drug peddling to be checked effectively, says IGP
• Over 25,300 policemen to be deployed on polling day, meeting told
• Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan police to launch joint operation to bust criminal gangs
KARACHI: The Apex committee in its 28th meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah at CM House on Thursday vowed to meet security challenges in the province and directed the provincial police chief to sit with his counterparts in Punjab and Balochistan to chalk out a complete plan to launch an operation against dacoits in the riverine (katcha) areas through an intelligence-based, well-coordinated, vigorous and targeted operation.
The committee also assessed the recent surge in terrorism in the country and evaluated overall intelligence reports presented by different security agencies. It decided to crush terrorism, drug peddling, street crime and dacoits’ gangs in the riverine areas and effectively deal with all such threats.
The meeting was attended by provincial ministers Syed Nasir Hussain Shah and Sharjeel Inam Memon, CM’s Adviser on Law Barrister Murtaza Wahab, Corps Commander Karachi Lt-Gen Babar Iftikhar, Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput, Home Secretary Saeed Mangnejo, DG Rangers Maj-General Azhar Waqas, Commissioner Karachi Iqbal Memon, Additional IG Javed Odho, Additional IG Special Branch Khadim Rind, Sindh IG Ghulam Nabi Memon, the Sindh prosecutor general, provincial heads of intelligence agencies and others concerned.
The CM said that a joint operation by three provinces against dacoits in the riverine areas should be launched for which all law-enforcement agencies should support them.
The Sindh IGP said that riverine area served as a traditional safe haven for criminals due to police accessibility issue. They hid themselves on small islands of the Indus which were ‘no-go areas’ for police, he said.
The CM directed the IGP to hold a meeting with his Punjab and Balochistan counterparts and work out a detailed plan to launch a well-organised operation against dacoits’ gangs.
The corps commander said that the army and Rangers would also help police in the operation.
The home secretary told the meeting that the CM had recently notified 275 dacoits with a total head-money of Rs465 million which would help ensure their arrest or neutralisation.
The CM said that the Citizen-police Liaison Committee (CPLC) reported 85,000 cases of street crime last year and asked the IGP for a briefing.
IGP Ghulam Nabi Memon said that four different kinds of crime -- bike snatching, car snatching, mobile phone snatching and mugging -- constituted ‘street crime’. He said 50 per cent of the total street crime cases happened to be of bike-snatching.
He said that 1,655 criminals who had already committed street crimes thrice had been arrested but obtained bail within one week or six months after their arrest.
When asked by the CM, the law adviser said that the Sindh Habitual Offenders Monitoring Bill-2021 had been sent to the provincial assembly’s standing committee on home affairs for soliciting public opinion as per the rules.
The CM directed the law department to expedite the process. The meeting decided to continue the strategy of crackdown on the menace through frequent combing up operations in slum areas, snap checking during peak hours, action against proclaimed offenders and absconders, and surveillance and action against bailed out criminals and repeat offenders.
The city police chief said that with the help of Rangers, Intelligence Bureau and special branch, a list of 735 narcotics peddlers operating in the city had been finalised. Of them, 471 had been arrested, 333 jailed, 98 were on bail and 304 were at large.
The chief minister directed the DG Rangers and IGP to launch an operation against drug peddlers effectively.
The meeting discussed the threat of terrorism in Sindh in the wake of the recent blast in Islamabad and decided to further strengthen intelligence-based operations in Karachi. All intelligence agencies would share their information with each other and help conduct the operation. The guidelines of the federal government for the elimination of terrorism would be implemented accordingly.
Local Bodies election
The chief minister was briefed about police deployment in the upcoming local government election scheduled to take place on Jan 15. It was disclosed that there would be 4,995 polling stations where 25,340 policemen would be deployed.
The meeting was told that a quick response force (QRF) had been assigned the task of security at 2,728 buildings. Each QRF unit would be given two mobiles and 14 policemen for guarding 10 buildings. There would be 273 QRF units to be mobilised with 564 mobiles and 2,833 policemen. Apart from them, there would be a force of 257 personnel in reserve.
Published in Dawn, January 6th, 2023