Street criminals have murdered 26 people in Karachi this year

By Salis bin Perwaiz
February 25, 2024

Despite several policies having been initiated by the Sindh police department, Karachiites have still been falling victim to outlaws, with 26 people, including a minor girl, having been murdered by street criminals since the start of 2024.


Observers and survivors assert that the Karachi police have been failing in controlling street crime, with bandits roaming freely around the city, despite the presence of police officials on roads, and murdering and wounding people during muggings.

Representational image. — APP File

The law and order situation in the city has been deteriorating with every passing day. On Friday a two-year-old girl was shot dead in front of her father on their doorstep in Korangi.

Street crime survivors and the families of the murdered victims stress that the police have been failing in protecting the residents of the city, and they demand that incompetent officers, especially the relevant SHOs, be sacked.

In the past two days, three people were killed and several injured during muggings. Late on Friday night Hoorain Hassan, 2, was killed and Rafia, 20, injured near Owais Shaheed Park in Korangi No. 4.

Three motorcyclists tried to snatch Hassan’s motorbike on his doorstep. When the victim resisted the attempt, the locals started gathering to overpower the suspects, who fired shots, killing Hoorain and injuring Rafia.

Separately, Sohrab Hussain, 50, was killed near Iqbal Market in Orangi Town Sector 11½. He was a passer-by who was shot dead by the suspects.

The preliminary police investigation suggests that around 1pm three motorcyclists were fleeing after robbing a grocery. Due to the Friday prayers, shopkeepers were closing their shops to go offer their prayers.

The rush of people panicked the suspects, so they opened fire fearing getting caught, resulting in a bullet hitting Hussain and killing him on the spot.

Moreover, two brothers were shot when they resisted a mugging attempt near the Banaras Bridge in Peerabad. Abdul Moiz, 20, was killed and his brother Abdul Mannan, 16, was seriously injured.

They were riding a motorbike when a couple of motorcyclists tried to rob them and fired indiscriminately on their resistance, resulting in serious injuries to both brothers.

Moiz, who succumbed to his injuries later, had got married a few months ago and worked as an embroidery designer. He was a resident of Altaf Nagar, Orangi Town.

Besides them, several people were injured in muggings on Friday and Saturday. Among the reported incidents was the case of Sheharyar Aslam, 28, who was shot over resistance near the Good Luck Marriage Hall in the Madina Colony police jurisdiction.

Faizan Bakhsh, 28, was shot over resistance near Tayyaba Masjid in Korangi No. 6, which falls under the Zaman Town police jurisdiction. In the Sir Syed police jurisdiction, Muhammad Muneer, 35, was shot during snatching at the Muhammad Shah Graveyard Gate No. 2.

Hassan Shakeel Ahmad, 35, was shot over resistance near the N55 stop in Manghopir Zebo Goth. In the Awami Colony police jurisdiction, Yasir Farooq, 21, was shot over resistance near the Pakistan Foundation School, Korangi.

In Peerabad, Danish Ameen, 35, was shot over resistance near Banaras Pul.

Observers say that Sindh in general and Karachi in particular has been facing the ever-increasing menace of street crime over the past few years, resulting in a sharp increase in crimes of various dimensions.

The past governments’ claims of improving the law and order situation are belied by the ground realities, with a large number of people having fallen prey to various criminals.

The recently elected government is yet to assume control of the province, but it has vowed to restore the past glory of the city by combating the menace of lawlessness.

It will be a test for the new Sindh government, with everyone observing how they tackle the menace of lawlessness, especially street crime, that has held the city in its grip for the past few years.

It will be a Herculean task for the government to accomplish. The masses have pinned their hopes on the new government believing that it would take a more decisive action against the criminals that are holding the city hostage.

Karachi has witnessed an unprecedented upsurge in street crime, especially the snatching of phones, cars and motorbikes. The irony is that the city of over 20 million people has a police force of only around 35,000, of whom only 10,000 to 15,000 are actually being used.

The rest of the police force is either suspended or being used for office duties and posted on other posts, with most of them deployed for the security of VVIPs.

Observers believe that the insufficient police strength, compounded with political interference in the police department, have resulted in a sharp increase in street crime. The government needs to induct some 50,000 officials on the basis of merit in order to overcome the increasing policing challenges.

Karachi has also witnessed an upsurge in the inflow of illegal weapons over the past many years. The availability of lethal illegal weapons has contributed to the rise of street crime. The new provincial government will have to take this issue very seriously to rid the city of such weapons.