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1,603 complaints registered on city police’s WhatsApp service in year’s first half

Karachi

July 9, 2019

The WhatsApp complaint service launched by the Karachi police has been functioning effectively as several actions have been taken, including many against police officials, in response to over 1,600 complaints so far lodged on the service.

This was said by Karachi Additional IG Dr Amir Ahmed Shaikh as he shared information about the complaint service with The News. It may be noted here that Dr Shaikh had announced a WhatsApp complaint service last year during a media briefing after he assumed the post of the Karachi police chief. He said the service would be for general public so that they could register their grievances and lodge complaints against high-handed police officials and those involved in wrongdoings.

According to the additional IG, one of the reasons behind launching the WhatsApp service was to enable people to inform the police authorities about their grievances in a manner which did not hurt their self-respect. He said it was often witnessed that people had to face difficulties in registering their complaints and when they were finally lodged, there was no outcome.

Dr Shaikh said the complaint centre was formed on WhatsApp number 0343-5142770 where the citizens could register complaints about crimes, especially the street crime, so that an immediate action could be taken. The citizens were also encouraged to upload footage of criminal offences and irresponsible behaviour of policemen that they captured through their mobile phones on the service.

He said until June 30, a total of 1,603 complaints of various nature had been registered on the WhatsApp service. He explained that in January 2019, the police received 276 complaints, whereas, in the following months of February, March, April, May and June, 194, 209, 282, 316 and 326 complaints were registered respectively.

Explaining further, Dr Shaikh said among the total complaints, 696 were against police officials, of which 657 had been disposed of. Against land grabbing, 135 complaints were lodged and 131 disposed of.

Many people also complained about drugs on the portal as 92 such complaints were lodged, of which 88 had been disposed of. A total of 85 complaints were lodged about threats, of which 79 had been disposed of, the officer said.

Against robberies, 53 complaints were received and 41 disposed of. The police also disposed of 163 of 178 complaints related to public violence. Regarding missing persons, 61 complaints were registered and the police disposed of 48 of them, Dr Shaikh explained.

Against street crime, 39 complaints were registered and 18 disposed of, the additional IG said, adding that some complaints about other issues had also been lodged, which either had been disposed of or were under investigations.

Dr Shaikh said a total of 169 FIRs were also registered at various police stations of Karachi between January and June this year after the police received complaints on the WhatsApp service. Of the FIRs, 27 were registered in January, 23 in February, 28 in March, 34 in April, 26 in May and 31 in June.

Action against cops

The additional IG maintained that action was taken against police officials, against whom complaints were lodged, after they were found guilty. According to the official figures of the Karachi police, 10 officials of the Korangi police station were suspended for allegations of receiving bribes and a departmental action had been initiated against them to award them a major punishment.

A constable of the Ferozabad police station was suspended and handed down a major punishment after the allegation against him that he had received a bribe was proved. An assistant sub-inspector (ASI) of the Darakhshan police station was suspended for misbehaving. A head constable and a constable of the Sahil and Defence police stations respectively were suspended with a major punishment for receiving bribes.

A constable of the Nabi Bux police station was confined to quarter guards for bribery and another constable of the Taimuria police station was suspended for misbehaving. An ASI and two constables of the Boat Basin police station were suspended for causing public violence and a station house officer (SHO) of the Rizvia Colony police station was suspended and demoted over allegations of bribery.

A constable deployed at the SSP South office was suspended for misconduct. A traffic cop was also suspended for receiving a bribe. A sub-inspector of the Anti-Car Lifting Cell (ACLC) was issued a show-cause notice over allegations of patronising crime.

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