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Karachi

OC
Our Correspondent
November 16, 2017

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Street crime now under purview of apex committee

Street crime now under purview of apex committee

Rampant street crime dominated the apex committee’s 21st meeting on Wednesday, as Sindh’s chief minister admitted that even though heinous crimes had been curbed, street crime still posed a major challenge to the authorities. “We need a concrete strategy to control it.”

CM Murad Ali Shah was informed that there were 2.5 million illegal immigrants in the province, majority of them in Karachi, and they were involved in street crime, through which they funded terrorism and other criminal activities.

When the meeting proposed making street crime part of the apex committee’s domain, Shah approved the suggestion and directed the police and Rangers to launch crackdowns and targeted operations against street criminals.

The chief executive also constituted a committee to be headed by the law minister, with the advocate general and the home secretary as members, to call on the Sindh High Court (SHC) chief justice to dedicate certain courts for trying street crime cases. “My objective is to take drastic measures to discourage street crime.”  

Terrorism cases

The meeting was informed that the Ministry of Interior (MoI) had approved 10 cases to be tried in military courts and that the apex committee’s legal committee had recommended another 28 cases in the province to be tried in military courts.

The apex committee approved them and directed the home department to send them to the military courts. The legal committee has so far held 16 meetings and referred 106 cases to military courts.  

Progress review

Informing the meeting on the progress of the decisions taken in the previous apex committee meeting, it was pointed out that the SHC CJ had been requested to transfer the cases of high-profile prisoners to Badin so they could be shifted there.

The chief executive directed the home department to continue to pursue the matter so that the process could be completed soon.

The provincial police chief has prepared a draft law and sent it to the industries, education and auqaf departments for registration, construction, monitoring and other ancillary matters relating to madrasas. The CM directed him to get it done at the earliest so it could be presented in the assembly.

The last meeting had decided to set up a committee to monitor the Karachi Safe City Project. The home department had sought nominations from the Rangers, the intelligence agencies and the Sindh police chief for the purpose. A notification announcing the names would be issued within a week.

The provincial government, as per the decision of the apex committee, has approached the MoI for controlling cybercrime. The office of the police chief is in touch with the MoI to expedite the matter so that concrete control could be exercised on cybercrime.  

Land grabbing

The meeting also discussed land grabbing and related matters in detail. They termed land grabbing an organised crime being committed by jihadis and organised mafias.

They said the money generated through land grabbing was used in terrorism and other crimes. On this the CM decided launching a crackdown on land grabbers and those who were involved in drawing up fake property documents.

The operation would be conducted by the Rangers and the police in areas such as Surjani Town, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Manghopir, Super Highway and Scheme 33 as well as various other localities.

Meanwhile, the chief secretary, who is also a senior member of the Board of Revenue, informed the meeting that all the land records had been digitised. It automatically searches government and private land when the number of land is fed in its search system, he said.  

Fourth Schedulers

The meeting was told that re-verification of all the existing Fourth Schedulers had been carried out through the Counter Terrorism Department. The CM directed the home department to approach the federal government to amend the Anti-Terrorism Act to stop financial transactions of the Fourth Schedulers through banks.

The Sindh government has requested the MoI to notify the Sindh police as a civil authority under the Foreigners Order 1951, enabling them to take necessary legal action against illegal immigrants as well as unauthorised foreigners in the province.

The home department, on the directives of the apex committee, has approached the State Bank of Pakistan to issue specific instructions to all commercial banks and financial institutions for taking all security-related steps as per the SOPs already issued.  

Missing persons

The meeting was informed that in order to gain political sympathy or to become champions of human rights, some people were presenting exaggerated lists of missing persons.

The CM directed the home department, the police chief and the Rangers to compile data of the missing persons so that the actual figures could be made available.

It was noted that some people leave the country for jihad or for criminal activities and then go missing; they are also declared as Sindh’s missing persons.  

Security measures

Taking policy decision, the meeting decided to enforce installation of clearly visible number plates at the front of motorbikes so they could be captured by CCTV cameras.

The meeting was told that the Rangers were deployed at 460 places across the metropolis. CM Shah gave a clear message that the police, the Rangers and the intelligence agencies were quite capable of maintaining law and order in the city.

“We are vigilant and shall not allow anyone to recreate the old practice of worsening the law and order situation in the city.”

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