KARACHI, Sep 22 (APP): Caretaker Sindh Chief Minister Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar presiding over the 28th meeting of the provincial APEX committee approved the launching of a comprehensive joint operation with Pak Army/Rangers against dacoits in the Riverine area of Sukkur and Larkana.
The Committee also decided to curb street crime, drug mafia and operation of illegal hydrants in Karachi and to start halted construction work on the Ghotki-Kashmore bridge on the River Indus.
“The elimination of dacoits, and curbing of street criminals, drug mafia, and illegal operations hydrants would build the confidence of the people in the government and its institutions and organization,” the CM said and directed the IG police to improve the overall condition of the police stations in the city, said a communique here on Friday.
The CM expressed his disappointment and dismay that the dacoits were not allowing the construction of the Ghotki-Kashmore bridge, therefore work has been stopped. At this Corps Commander Karachi Lt Gen Babar Iftikhar directed Rangers and the police to reach the spot immediately and provide security to the people working there.
Home Minister Brig (rtd) Haris Nawaz and IG Police Riffat Mukhtar briefing on law and order, particularly kidnapping for ransom said that overall, 220 persons were kidnapped in 2023, including 128 in Larkana, 46 in Sukkur, 42 in Karachi three in Hyderabad and one in Shaheed Benazirabad rangers. Out of 220 kidnapped persons, 210 have been recovered, including 121 in Larkana, 41 in Sukkur, all 42 in Karachi, and three Hyderabad regions.
At present, only 10 persons, five each in Sukkur and Larkana regions have to be recovered for which police were working. The IG said that there were hardly 50 to 60 notorious dacoits and the rest were their tribesmen living there.
He added that the lists of the dacoits have been prepared to crush them in the operation.
The meeting was told that the joint operation with the Rangers/Pak Army had been planned. Rangers have been deployed along with Police for operations and a crackdown on organized Weapon smuggling has been started.
The first cache of military-grade weapons has been seized at Ghotki. The intelligence agencies are also supporting the operation, the meeting was told. The meeting was told that sophisticated military-grade weapons such as Sniper Rifles, Grenade launchers, Mortars, night vision devices, and drones were required for the operation.
It was disclosed that an NOC for the purchase of sophisticated weapons was pending in the Ministry of Interior/ Defence.
At this Corps Commander Karachi said that he has already given clearance only the Minister of Interior has to issue a formal NOC.
The CM assigned the task to the Chief Secretary to talk to the Ministry of Interior for NOC so that weapons could be purchased from the Pak Army.
The IG police shared a comprehensive joint operation plan to clear hideouts in the Katcha area in which air cover to advise troops would be arranged.
The meeting was told that 18 forward base camps were being established with 50 personnel each in the Katcha areas of the four districts – six each in Ghotki and Kashmore, four in Shikarpur two in Sukkur. 400 police check posts were being established, and of them, 210 have been constructed with a deployment of 3200 policemen.
The CM said that all the expenditures of the operation would be met and released in time.
Additional IG Karachi Khadim Rind briefing the committee on the overall crime situation in the city, particularly the street crime said that in 2013 3467 killings in the city were reported and in 2023 it has been controlled to 411 against which 329 accused wanted in murder cases have been arrested.
He added that personal enmity/disputes were the main motive behind the killing. 533 extortion cases were reported in 2013 and this year only 100 cases have been reported. The police have arrested 86 accused involved in extortion.
In street crime, 39884 cases were reported in 2013 which kept increasing to 85502 in 2022 and in this year- 2023, 61098 cases have been reported so far (till Sept 17). At this, the CM said that street crime has not only developed a sense of insecurity among the people but has earned a bad name for the government.
The CM was told that the district East was on top in street crime with 17570 cases, followed by Central with 14648 cases, Korangi with 10731 cases, West 6551 Malir with 3193, Keamari with 3174, South with 2741, and City with 2490 cases. The CM said that when the police have the data where the crime rate was high, they should have a strategy and plan to curb it.
The Apex Committee after a thorough discussion decided to launch a joint operation of police and Rangers against the street criminals and drug mafia who are also involved in the menace.
The committee approved frequent combing operations in slum areas and starting the snap-checking duration peak hours. Surveillance and action against bailed-out criminals, repeat offenders, narcotic peddlers, and absconders would be initiated.
The meeting also decided to increase in watch & surveillance through CCTV camera networks and command and control centres proliferation.
At the CM constituted a committee under the provincial caretaker minister Omar Soomro with Chairman P&D Shakeel Mangijo, Home Secretary Iqbal Memon, and DG Safe City Authority Aijaz Shaikh as its members.
The meeting would submit its report within a week and the CM would convene a meeting for implementation of the Safe City Project.
Director General Rangers Major Gen Azhar Waqas briefing the meeting said that the Rangers, along with the Police have started operations against illegal hydrants.
He added that 27 operations have been conducted in Nazimabad and New Nazimabad – District Central, Orangi, Manghopir, and Baldia in District West, Jamshed Quarters District South, and in Chakra Goth District East. DG Rangers disclosed that 27 illegal hydrants have been sealed and arrested 43 individuals and impounded water Bowsers.
He added that the water board would have to be vigilant so that the sealed hydrants may not start operating again.