KARACHI: Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Monday said that the government was working on a bill to enact Anti Extortion Act for curbing the menace of extortion in the country.
Malik said that a crack down against the extortionists will be initiated in different areas of the city from tonight.
Earlier, a meeting, jointly chaired by the interior minister and Chief Minister Sindh Qaim Ali Shah, was held to evolve methods to eradicate the menace.
Addressing a press conference along with Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Hussain Wassan at the Chief Minister House, he said that the punishment for illegal collection of money will be 7 years rigorous punishment. It will be non-bail able offence, he added.
Malik said that an additional SHO will be posted at each Police Station to deal with the complaints of money extortion from businessmen.
He said Anti Extortion Cell will be set up under a DIG Police with investigation and intelligence bodies including Police, IB and ISI as its members.
The interior minister said that the decision has been taken in consultation with all political parties in Sindh including MQM, PPP, NAP and JUI, to initiate an stringent action against the extortion mafia.
He pointed out that Sindh government has demanded 10,000 additional police force to improve law and order in the province and tp control bhatta collection. The federal government will provide fund for 5,000 personnel while Sindh government will arrange funds for 5,000 force.
To a question, he said that action will be taken against the snatching of mobile phone under Anti Terrorism Act.
The Sindh home minister said that the mafia exists in the city since 1987-88, but now this menace has grown and its modus operandi has been changed.
He said so far 47 extortionists have been arrested and 14 police officials have been martyred in 68 encounters.
Wassan said that there are 112 police stations in the city of 20 million people. However, this problem is present in only 12 to 13 police stations. We have focused these areas, he added.