SUKKUR: The Sukkur bench of the Sindh High Court on Thursday ordered Sindh police to submit to the court within 24 hours their short or long term strategy for operation against dacoits in the province.

The double bench comprising Justices Salah­uddin Panhwar and Abdul Mubeen Lakho issued the directive while hearing a petition on restoration of peace in Sindh.

Inspector General of Police Ghulam Nabi Memon informed the court that Sindh police faced heinous crimes such as kidnapping for ransom, narcotics trade and street crimes.

He that Sindh police had announced Rs520 million as head money for 275 dacoits.

Assistant Advocate General Zahid Mazari informed the bench that dacoits were now not only kidnapping men but were also abducting the hostages’ womenfolk and daughters and recording their videos while sexually assaulting them and selling such videos on the dark web.

The bench expressed dismay and Justice Panhwar remarked that kidnapping for ransom had become an industry in which Rs 2 billion annually was being earned.

He said that when some hostages were freed they said that personal assistant to a minister got them released after payment of money.

The judge asked the respondents that police should expose the facilitators of the dacoits. “If we were not judges, we could have exposed the facilitators within 10 days,” he said.

Mazari informed the court that women were being kidnapped and trafficked to Oman.

Whereupon Justice Panhwar said that in such a situation they were left with only two options, first to resign forthwith from duties and second to trust the state.

He said that there was no other option but to conduct a joint operation by police, Rangers and army against the dacoits in riverine areas of the province.

He therefore directed IGP to submit in writing to the court as to how long would it take to restore peace in the province. “Or, do we have to summon the prime minster and the chief minister to the court about this,” he asked.

He ordered the respondents to submit their strategy whether short term or long term within 24 hours and adjourned the hearing to next day, March 3.

Published in Dawn, March 3rd, 2023

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