Planned grand operation will continue till elimination of all dacoits: home minister

Published April 16, 2024
POLICE officials arrange advanced weaponry, bulletproof vests and helmets, which they claimed to have seized from outlaws, during the home minister’s press conference at SSP office in Sukkur on  Monday.—PPI
POLICE officials arrange advanced weaponry, bulletproof vests and helmets, which they claimed to have seized from outlaws, during the home minister’s press conference at SSP office in Sukkur on Monday.—PPI

SUKKUR: Sindh Home Minster Ziaul Hasan Lanjar has said that anti-dacoit operation by police, once started, will continue till all gangs and their members are eliminated and complete peace is restored in upper Sindh districts.

He said that 1,000-strong CTD (counter-terrorism department) and RRF (Rapid Response Force) contingent had already arrived in Kashmore.

He was speaking while chairing a meeting of senior district administration and police officers in Kandhkot SSP’s Office on Monday.

Inspector General Ghulam Nabi Memon, DIGs of Sukkur and Larkana police ranges and SSPs of Larkana, Hyderabad, Shaheed Benazirabad, Mirpurkhas and Sukkur districts were among the senior officers who attended the meeting.

Tells media 1,000-strong CTD-RFF contingent is present in Kashmore

The home minister was briefed about the law and order situation in different districts of Sindh.

A strategy to deal with dacoit gangs and their facilitators was discussed at the meeting.

After the meeting, he told a press conference that the ongoing intelligence-based police-Rangers actions against dacoits and their facilitators in both katcha (riverine) and pucca (urban) areas of upper Sindh districts, including Kandhkot-Kashmore, would continue.

He said strict action would have to be taken against those who were found supplying sophisticated and other weapons to the gangs, operating from the riverine areas of Kandhkot.

He pointed out that the joint police-Rangers actions were under way in the riverine areas of Kandhkot-Kashmore, Shikarpur and Ghotki districts, and said that the strategy adopted in this regard was producing desirable results.

Inter-tribe hostilities

Regarding violent incidents and bloodshed mainly resulting from inter-tribe hostilities, the minister said: “We will convene a meeting of tribal chieftains and heads of different clans and communities soon to convince them to settle down all sorts of feuds between each two of them so that peace could be ensured”.

He pointed out that lawmakers from the upper Sindh districts had also been stressing the need for such an initiative.

“Government will take strict action against any party that will decline to enter in such a dialogue for a settlement of its hostility with its rival side,” he declared.

Heavier weapons for police

The home minster also reiterated the provincial government’s commitment to equip police with weapons and equipment matching those used by dacoit gangs so as to ensure success of the planned grand operation in the riverine areas.

Mr Lanjar informed the media that in a recent action, police had captured hideouts of dreaded Sabzoi gang in the riverine area of Kandhkot. He appreciated the police force in field for its concerted efforts towards recovery of the hostages held by dacoit gangs.

The minister offered an olive branch to defiant outlaws saying that they would be dealt with according to law [will not be harmed or killed by police] if they chose to lay down their arms and court arrest voluntarily. However, he added, they would be dealt with sternly, if they chose not to surrender.

He expressed the hope that the law and order in upper Sindh districts would improve soon as police were making great efforts in this regard. “But it will take some time to eliminate the gangs considering their number being high and the vast difficult approach to their hideouts in the riverine areas,” he said.

Some media persons posed a question to the home minister about any progress made by the JIT formed to locate a minor girl, Priya Kumari, who has been missing since Aug 2021. Mr Lanjar replied that he would seek an update from the JIT when he would proceed to Sukkur.

He was also asked about any progress in reaching the remaining suspects wanted in the murder case of senior journalist Jan Mohammad Mahar, Mr Lanjar said that the suspects were believed to have been hiding in the jungle area but they would be hunted down and put behind bars soon.

Published in Dawn, April 16th, 2024

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