• Central, West, East and Korangi most affected districts
• Citizens have started to ‘react’ while dacoits are killing people in ‘panic’, says ex-CPLC chief

KARACHI: More than 250 Karachiites were shot dead and 1,052 others were wounded by street criminals between 2022 and March 28, 2024, data presented before a high-level security meeting showed.

Police sources said that a significant increase in violent street crimes was registered over the past three years.

They said before 2022 the number of people killed by muggers stood at around 30, but the figure increased manifold when a total of 111 citizens were killed by muggers in the 12 months of 2022.

Senior police officials attribute the increase in violent street crimes to skyrocketing inflation and growing economic difficulties in last three years.

Besides, they also blamed ‘bad policing’ particularly at a lower level and blamed SHOs for allegedly running ‘vice dens’ within their jurisdiction instead of controlling crime.

Another noteworthy factor is that certain districts are more affected by violent street crimes because of a host of reasons.

The data showed that districts Central, West, East and Korangi were the most affected areas.

Loss of confidence in police

Former CPLC chief Sharafuddin Memon told Dawn that citizens had also lost confidence in law enforcers and started resisting robbers.

The citizens have started showing ‘reaction’ over unabated street crimes and dacoits who were already in ‘panic condition’ were retaliating and killing citizens, he added.

He opined that because of public reaction, killing of the citizens had increased during robbery related incidents.

Mr Memon who had also remained an adviser at the home department said during Ramazan, all kinds of crime go up partly because of the influx of a large number of poor people to the city and some of them also indulged in crimes apart from beggary.

He said the increase in violent street crimes had also definitely linked with bad economic conditions as there were slum areas in the metropolis where youths were jobless with no skills and education and lack of space for entertainment.

These youths of slum areas were ‘tempted’ to commit crimes with easy availability of weapons.

He opined that the city badly needed fast implementation of the safe city project as it needed at least 100,000 cameras for monitoring, which would help to control the crimes.

27-month police data

Of the 111 persons shot dead in 2022, a total of 23 were killed in district Central, one in City district, 23 in East, nine in Keamari, 20 in Korangi, five in Malir, two in South and 28 people were killed in district West.

During the same year 2022, a total of 442 people were injured by robbers. Out of them, 82 people were injured in district Central, eight in City district, 97 in East, 43 in Keamari, 61 in Korangi, 36 in Malir, 15 in South and 100 in West.

In 2023, a total of 108 people were killed during robbery resistance. Out of them, 16 were killed in Central, two in City, 30 in East, 16 in Keamari, 17 in Korangi, 10 in Malir, one in South and 16 in West.

During the same year 2023, a total of 469 people were wounded by robbers for putting up resistance. Out of them, 110 people were injured in Central, seven in City, 92 in East, 41 in Keamari, 70 in Korangi, 77 in Malir, six in South, and 94 in West.

During the ongoing year (2024), as per the police data, 33 people had been shot dead during robbery resistance till March 28. (However, figures compiled by independent institutions suggest more than 50 persons were killed by robbers during the same period.)

Out of them, three people were killed in Central, six in East, one in Keamari, nine in Korangi, three in South and 11 in West. During this period, no robbery-cum-murder took place in two districts of City and Malir.

During the same period, 141 people were wounded by robbers during robbery resistance.

Out of them, 33 people were injured in Central, 29 in East, 10 in Keamari, 19 in Korangi, 19 in Malir, one in South and 30 in West. However, no robbery-cum-injury was reported in district City during the same period.

While the police data showed that a total of 33 people had been killed during robbery resistance in March, media and other sources reported that a total of 50 people had been murdered, including 11 in this holy month of Ramazan, in Karachi.

New strategy to deal with criminals

West Zone DIG Irfan Ali Baloch told Dawn that police had changed their strategy to curb street crimes.

Elaborating, he said they were collecting information about the domicile of street criminals and where they lived.

He said instead of carrying out snap-checking on roads, etc, the police would now conduct raids in areas where the street criminals lived and arrest them.

Besides, DIG Baloch added that they were focusing on ‘repeat offenders’ to prevent street crimes.

He pointed out that in the West Zone only, during the last three-four months, around 600 street criminals were arrested who had been released from prisons and were again committing street crimes.

He said that in certain areas of West like Surjani, Orangi, etc, mostly the ‘poor people’ who put up resistance to any cell phone snatching bid were got killed by robbers.

He said there were ‘two-three’ katchi abadis where criminal elements were present and they committed robberies.

Furthermore, the DIG added that in Gulshan-i-Maymar, there was a big settlement of ‘illegal foreigners’ who were also involved in crimes.

Another officer, who had served in the East Zone and wished not to be named, said that East and Korangi were the most affected districts because they were surrounded by katchi abadis where criminal elements lived.

He said Gulshan-i-Iqbal and Gulistan-i-Jauhar in East were affected by settlements in Sohrab Goth, Isa Nagri and Dalmia from where criminal have got easy access for carrying out crimes.

Published in Dawn, April 5th, 2024

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