KARACHI: Police on Wednesday claimed that the killing of citizens during robberies had been reduced from 20 persons per month to one in districts Central and West due to ‘effective policing.’

Speaking at a press conference at his office, West Zone DIG Irfan Ali Baloch said that in the month of January, around 20 citizens were gunned down by robbers over resistance in the West Zone but in May and June so far, only one citizen had been killed by muggers in Orangi Town in a case in which one suspect was also shot dead by the police in an encounter.

The ‘pro-active policing’ had helped to reduce the violent street crimes up to 60pc as per data maintained by the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee, he further claimed.

He pointed out that from March 24 till today, 24 dacoits had been shot dead in ‘encounters.’ “All those suspected robbers involved in murders-with-robberies have been traced and killed in encounters.”

Says lack of identification parade, independent witnesses are among major reasons why street criminals get bail

He said the police had also unearthed as to where the snatched cell phones were being taken and sold and the suspects involved in changing IMEI had also been traced and taken to task. Shopkeepers involved in purchasing snatched cell phones have also been arrested.

“Besides, we are trying to trace and arrest the arms dealers who provide pistols to street criminals as part of a comprehensive policy to reduce the number of street crimes significantly,” he said.

Mr Baloch claimed that in 2023, 80 FIRs were registered about robberies as people who intended to buy sacrificial animals were robbed by muggers on Northern Bypass but this year, not a single incident of robbery had taken place at the market of sacrificial animals.

“We are making every possible effort to improve the situation further,” he added.

DIG Baloch told Dawn that the police had conducted a study of 100 cases in which street criminals were granted bails by courts concerned. He said the study highlighted certain flaws on part of the police which helped the criminals get bail from the courts.

Those, he said, included lack of identification parade, independent witnesses of both recoveries of looted valuables and incident of robberies. Lack of interest by the police in pursuing the cases properly also resulted in bail orders for the repeat offenders. Registration of FIR late after the incident and not sending the recovered pistol to the police’s forensic lab on time were also key factors that helped criminals get bail.

He also announced arrest of two repeat offenders, Abdul Rehman alias Garha and Mustaqeem who were included in a ‘huge list’ of street crimes. He added that one of them was arrested several times in the past as there were 12 cases registered against him.

Published in Dawn, June 20th, 2024

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