KARACHI: The apex committee on Wednesday in a meeting chaired by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah took notice of street crimes in Karachi, and decided to launch a crackdown and targeted operation by Police and Rangers against street criminals.
The meeting was attended Director-General Rangers Major General Mohammad Saeed, Corps Commander Karachi Lt Gen Shahid Beg Mirza, IG Sindh AD Khowaja, ministers, bureaucrats and provincial head of intelligence agencies.
Street crime remained the most discussed item in the apex committee and was discussed threadbare. CM Sindh expressed displeasure that heinous crimes have been controlled, but street crime poses a big challenge and there must be concrete strategy to control it.
It was pointed out the illegal migrants, who number around 2.5 million in the province and mostly live in Karachi, are involved in street crime. Therefore, it was proposed to make street crime as part of the apex committee’s domain.
The chief minister approved the proposal and directed police and Rangers to start crack down and targeted operation against street criminals.
He also constituted a committee under Law Minister with AG Sindh and Home Secretary to call on Chief Justice Sindh High Court to dedicate certain courts for speedy trial of street criminals.
“My objective to take drastic measures is to create deterrence in commission of street crime,” said CM Sindh.
28 terrorism cases sent to military courts
The committee approved to send 28 terrorism cases to military courts, along with ten others sent by the Interior Ministry.
It may be noted that the Legal Committee has held sixteen meetings and recommended 106 cases for trial in military courts. Presently 38 cases with 29 accused are being tried in the military courts.
The military courts have convicted 23 and awarded death penalty to 21 accused, life imprisonment to two, returned three cases to Anti-Terrorism Court and one is still pending.
Giving progress of the decisions taken in the last apex committee meeting, it was pointed out that the chief justice of Sindh High Court has been requested to transfer cases of high profile prisoners to Badin.
CM Sindh directed the Home Department to pursuing the matter so that it could be completed in the shortest possible time.
Committee to monitor Karachi Safe City Project formed
The last apex meeting had also decided to establish a committee to monitor Karachi safe City Project (KSCP). The Home department has sought nominations from Pakistan Rangers, intelligence agencies and IG Police, which have been received and a notification would be issued within a week.
IG Sindh has prepared a draft law and has sent to industries, education and Auqaf departments for registration, construction, monitoring and other ancillary matters relating to seminaries. CM Sindh directed to complete at the earliest so that it could be presented in the assembly.
The provincial government as per decision of the apex committee has also approached the interior ministry to control cybercrime. The IG office is in touch with the ministry to expedite and take solid action on the matter.
Crackdown against land grabbing
Land grabbing was another important matter discussed in detail as participants termed it an organized crime being committed by militants and organised mafias.
Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon, who is also a senior member of the Board of Revenue, said that the land record of government and private has been digitalised.
The meeting said that the money generated through land grabbing is used in crime and terrorism.
CM Sindh directed to launch crackdown against land grabbers and even against those involved forging property documents. The operation would be conducted by Rangers and Police in the areas such as Surjani Town, Gulistan-i-Jauhar, Manghopir, Super Highway, Scheme 33 and various other areas.
ATA Fourth Schedulers re-verified
The meeting was also told that re-verification of all existing Fourth schedulers has been done through additional IG Counter-Terrorism Department. CM Sindh directed Home department to approach federal government to amend Anti-Terrorist Act (ATA) law to stop bank transaction of Fourth schedulers.
The Sindh government has approached the Interior ministry requesting to notify Sindh police as a ‘civil Authority’’ under Foreigners Order 1951 enabling it to take necessary legal action against illegal immigrants and unauthorised foreigners in the province.
The Home department has also approached State Bank of Pakistan to issue specific instructions to all commercial banks and financial institutions for taking all security related steps as per Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) already issued.
The issue of missing persons was also discussed in the meeting and it was pointed out that some people are presenting exaggerated lists to gain political sympathy or become champion of human rights.
Missing person list exaggerated
CM Sindh directed IGP and Rangers to complete a data of the missing persons so that actual figures could be made available. It was noted that those going for militancy or criminal activities out of country and then go missing there are also termed as missing.
The meeting was informed that 83 high profile prisoners, including 52 under-trial, 18 convicts and 13 condemned have been shifted from Central Jail Karachi to other districts.
CM Sindh also expressed displeasure over vehicle and motorcycle theft and directed the IG Police to stop it by taking strict action. It was decided to enforce installation of much visible number plates on bikes at their front side so that it could be covered on CCTV. The implementation would be made very soon.
The apex committee gave a clear message that the law enforcement and intelligence agencies are capable enough to maintain law and order in the city. It was also disclosed that the Rangers remain present 460 places.
“We are vigilant and would not allow anyone to create the old practice of worsening law and order in the city,” the chief minister said.