KARACHI: More than 500 women and underage girls were sexually assaulted in Karachi alone during the year 2023 which also saw 4,042 cases of physical assault on them, the police surgeon said.

Separately, the Edhi Foundation said that as many as 714 people were shot dead and 3,022 suffered bullet wounds during the year 2023 in Karachi, registering a 15 per cent increase in violent deaths compared to 2022.

A spokesperson for the charity told Dawn on Sunday that the data was based on the figures of those killed or wounded across the city and reported at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK) and Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH) during the past year.

Police Surgeon Summaiya Syed — who heads the team of medico-legal officers deputed in the city’s three major hospitals — also said that as many as 1,565 bodies were brought to the three hospitals for a post-mortem examination. Those died included murder victims, traffic accidents, suicides, etc.

714 persons shot dead, 223 bodies of newborns recovered in 2023, says Edhi Foundation

According to the Edhi Foundation’s data, 248 persons died due to torture while 23 were killed in cylinder/gas explosions and other incidents.

The record showed at least 180 men and women committed suicide. Thirteen persons were killed by trains and 23 people burned to death in different accidents.

The number of people died of electrocution was 119. As many as 191 people drowned in different incidents in the city during 2023.

The Edhi spokesperson said that 750 people were killed in road traffic accidents and 11,728 suffered injuries. He said that 63pc of those killed and injured in traffic accidents were motorcyclists.

The data compiled by the Edhi Foundation also said that 224 cases of infanticide were reported across the city during the year 2023.

In a statement, Faisal Edhi expressed his disappointment over the cases of infanticide but claimed that a ‘significant reduction’ in the recovery of bodies of newborn babies was witnesses in the outgoing year.

522 women sexually assaulted

Police Surgeon Summaiya Syed told Dawn 522 women and young girls were sexually assaulted during 2023.

She said that 4,042 cases of physical assault on women were reported in the outgoing year.

She said that 22 bodies were exhumed on the orders of judicial magistrates / courts during the year 2023.

Meanwhile, a police spokesperson said that till Dec 29, 3,158 encounters took place across Sindh in which 21 policemen were martyred while 1,726 criminal gangs were eliminated.

He also said that 188 encounters took place with dacoits in katcha areas (riverine) in which 40 bandits were killed while 136 others were arrested.

According to Sindh Rangers, they had conducted 163 operations against terrorists, targeted killers, kidnappers and extortionists along with the police and arrested 197 high-profile suspects who were members of different banned religious/sectarian, sub-nationalists and gangs.

The rangers also said because of their actions against water theft, around 25 MGD (million gallons daily) of water was saved, which resulted in the increase of revenue generation for the Karachi Water & Sewerage Board up to Rs200m monthly.

Published in Dawn, january 1st, 2024

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