Monday May 20, 2024

President Zardari orders 'large-scale operation' against street criminals in Karachi

Zardari directs authorities to take strict action against drug mafia and stolen goods trade

By Web Desk
May 01, 2024
President Asif Ali Zardari chairs special meeting on law and order at CM House, Karachi, on May 1, 2024. — X/@SindhCMHouse
President Asif Ali Zardari chairs special meeting on law and order at CM House, Karachi, on May 1, 2024. — X/@SindhCMHouse

After deliberations on improving the law and order situation in Sindh, President Asif Ali Zardari issued a set of directives to the higher authorities, including a large-scale operation against street criminals in Karachi, katcha bandits and drug mafia across the province.

The directives came during a special meeting chaired by the president at the Chief Minister (CM) House on Wednesday. 

Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah, Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, provincial ministers Sharjeel Memon, Nasir Hussain Shah, Ziaul Hassan Lanjar, chief secretary, inspector general police (IGP), Director General (DG) Rangers Sindh and other senior officials attended the meeting.

The meeting reviewed overall law and order situation in the province, specifically the longstanding issues of Karachi street crimes, katcha bandits, menace of narcotics, land grabbing, security of foreign nationals, as well as acquirement of facilities and resources.

CM Shah gave a detailed briefing on prevailing situation of the province to the president and said that the situation was improved after an operation in katcha (riverine) areas.

He added that the Iranian president’s visit to the metropolis, Pakistan Super League (PSL) and international cricket matches, and peaceful organisation of religious events were manifestations of the improved law and order situation.

In 2014, Karachi was standing on the sixth number in the global crime index which is now dropped to 82nd, the president was told.

During the briefing, Sindh Rangers DG Major General Azhar Waqas apprised President Zardari that overall 5,357 crimes were reported in the first four months of 2024.

He told the meeting that street crime cases fell in March and April. Overall 49 people lost their lives in 48 street crime cases, whereas 43 accused were arrested after probes into 27 cases while 13 suspects were killed in encounters.

Similarly, out of 136 cases in which 174 persons were injured 49 have been detected by arresting 114 accused and nine were killed in encounters.

To curb street crimes, the provincial police took key measures by making Shaheen Force functional and restructuring Madadgar 15, e-tagging of repeat offenders, Sindh Smart Surveillance System (S4) project for 40 toll plazas of Sindh having ANPR and facial recognition cameras.

Additionally, 168 cars and 120 vehicles have been handed over to the police, CM Sindh said.

President Zardari said that the police force must know the spots where stolen vehicles and mobile phones were being sold. He ordered the police to take strict actions against the trade centres where stolen assets were being sold.

Katcha operation

Sindh IGP Ghulam Nabi Memon briefed President Zardari that 107 police check posts have been established on the left bank of the Indus River. Moreover, 609 persons have been recovered who were abducted by criminals via honey traps, he added.

He detailed that 103 citizens were abducted from January to April 2024 from which 76 incidents were registered while 47 cases were not lodged by the victims. Police continued an operation to recover 20 abductees, he added.

The provincial police chief said that 63 dacoits were killed in the first four month of this year and 120 suspects arrested in wounded condition while 418 other suspects were also taken into custody.

During separate operations, 17 cops were martyred and 27 got injured.

The president directed establishment of police check posts on the right bank of Indus River to improve security situation in Shikarpur and Kashmore.

Karachi Safe City, Northern Bypass fencing

President Zardari ordered authorities concerned to complete Karachi Safe City project “on a war footing” to eliminate street crimes and other illegal activities affecting the law and order situation in the port city.

He also directed the commencement of fencing work on the Northern Bypass to curb katcha bandits’ activities. The president also ordered completing the construction of Ghotki-Kandhkot bridge at the earliest.

He also directed initiating development projects on both banks of the Indus River in Jamrud, Guddu and Garhi Tego. Moreover, it was ordered to include local dignitaries to resolve tribal disputes in riverine areas in the committees.

It has been directed that a tri-party mechanism should be formulated for effective coordination between Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan provinces.

President Zardari also ordered the police to take strict action against the drug mafia besides directing the Sindh government to spread awareness against narcotics among parents.

The president issued directives to adopt special security measures for Chinese citizens. The provincial authorities have been told that there would be a “zero tolerance” policy over land grabbing.

He also ordered the Sindh government to approach the Centre for the acquirement of facilities such as ammunition required to maintain the law and order situation. He also directed transferring police officials who failed to maintain peace situation.