1,732 killed in City during 2012
By: Ramzan Chandio
KARACHI: The demographic changes, which are creating tensions among the communities fighting to capture political turf as well as clash of interest among the ethnic groups, tussle between land grabbers and extortion mafia are among the main reasons behind targeted killings in City, which claimed at least 306 lives, in total 1732 persons were killed during January-September 2012.
The Sindh Police briefed this to the provincial government at a meeting which reviewed the law and order situation of the province especially targeted killings in the City. In its presentation to the Sindh Chief Minister and Chief Secretary on law and order, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) has touched the issues of targeted killings and its reasons, extortions and heinous crime committed by extremists and militant organisations in the City, Karo-Kari, tribal feuds and kidnappings in the province as well as comparison of crime of Karachi with other big cities of the world, strength of the force and new initiatives to combat the crime.
According to the IGP presentation, a copy of it also available with The Nation, at least 1,732 persons were killed during January to September, 2012, of which 306 people fell victim of targeted killings in the City. At least 54 people were killed in dacoity/robbery or snatching incidents, while 1297 people killed due to personal enmity or any reason other than targeted killings, besides, 75 dead bodies found unknown, who could not identified.IGP while sharing the police response against the crime claimed that the regular search operations and raids are being conducted for apprehensions of the target killers and criminal elements, in which 2,462 criminals including 151 target-killers were arrested in 2012, while a total of 189 cases have been detected/challaned in targeted killings.
The Sindh Police chief has attributed the demographic changes, which are creating tension among the communities to capture political turf, ethnicity, sectarianism and factional infighting, clashes between land and extortion mafias as the main reasons behind the increasing incidents of the targeted killings in the City. Police chief noted that the clash of interests among the ethnic groups and Lyari gang war as well as easy access to illegal weapons and misuse of arms licenses are also one of the reasons of targeted killings in the City.
Comparing the crime in Karachi with other big cities of the world, he said that at least 62 people killed on per 0.1 million population in Cape Town, 57 in New Orleans, 21.9 in Washington DC, 14 in Mexico, while 8.3 in Karachi, claiming that the murder rate in Pakistan’s economic hub is less than other big cities of the world. A total 211 cases of extortion reported, in which 92 cases have been detected, arresting 157 accused by the police during January to September 2012, police chief informed the Sindh government, unveiling that 36 culprits belonging to Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other banned militant organizations were arrested this year.
The presentation of the police stated that total 251 persons were kidnapped in 2012 against 273 kidnappings of same period of 2011, claiming that 248 abductees were recovered by police, while 19 kidnapped persons are still in the captivity of kidnappers. The incidents of the karo-kari (honor killings) are another problematic area for the police, which also trigger personal/tribal feuds, which claimed 154 lives in 2012. Counting measures to curb karo-kari, he said the Sindh Police and UNDP had established anti-karo-kari cells in the province, which aimed at collecting/documenting the cases in police stations and closes follow-up prosecution in such cases, besides police has established human rights cells in all the districts.
The tribal feuds are one of the major irritants to public order in Upper Sindh, where 37 such conflicts among different tribes going-on, which not only erode the writ of the government but also nurture hardcore criminals. He stated that the tribal feuds have taken 511 lives while 350 persons injured during 2002 to 2012. To eradicate illegal Jirga system, Sindh Police had registered 23 criminal cases against the perpetrators during 2012, he claimed. The police chief raised the issue of manpower shortage in police force, stating that a total 101182 cops are working against the sanctioned strength of 107067 in police department, falling vacancies of 5885 cops.
In the comparative police population ratio, the briefing of the police chief stated the London has one cop to guard 152 persons, Delhi has one cop for 291 persons and New York has one for 237 persons, while Karachi has less number of cops to guard the population with ratio of one cop for 605 persons.
Sharing the new initiatives to deal with the law and order situation, the police chief stated the a scheme of e-policing which include vehicle tracking system, FM Radio, and centralised call centre for Madadgar-15 has been launched, besides Police Record and Office Management Integrated System. The e-policing aims to digitalise all police stations record and maintain a central database throughout the country and automated fingerprint identification system and installation of 960 electronically interfaced CCTV cameras and 100 mobile vehicles’ mounted cameras and 300 data supported hand held have added to the system for better police response to ensure security in the City.