SC rejects govt report on Karachi -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

SC rejects govt report on Karachi

KARACHI: The Supreme Court rejected on Monday the government`s report on targets killings in Karachi and asked the attorney general to place on record reports from intelligence agencies on investigation into the matter.

As a five-judge special bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry took up the suo motu case, Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq submitted a report of the Federal Investigation Agency, Sindh police`s Special Branch and Intelligence Bureau on target killings.

The bench expressed dissatisfaction over the report and observed that it did not have facts needed to make headway. Apart from the first three pages, the bench said, it contained newspaper reports without an analysis.

A large number of people had gathered to attend the proceedings because of the concern over the bloodshed in the city and interest generated in the case by allegations levelled by Sindh`s former home minister Zulfikar Mirza at a press conference on Sunday against Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Muttahida Qaumi Movement.

Special security arrangements were made for the day with roads around the court building blocked with large containers to avert any untoward incident.

Sindh police chief Wajid Ali Durrani gave a presentation on the situation in Karachi.

He said recent demographic changes, ethnicity, sectarianism, clashes between land and bhatta mafias and easy access to illicit arms were mainly responsible for the law and order problem in the city.

The police chief said certain localities were `no-go` areas for rival communities. However, he said, police had access to all areas.

Giving details of incidents of violence between July 24 and Aug 24, the inspector general said 306 people had been killed and the bodies of 17 of them were found in gunny bags. He said 46 motorcycles, nine cars and two minibuses were torched.

Police conducted over 3,000 raids in different areas and, as a result, 18 people abducted on Aug 19 retuned home.

He replied in the negative when the chief justice asked him if statements of the freed people had been recorded.

The chief justice said there must be some groups patronising the kidnappers and target killers. The IG said police had arrested 20 suspects who had killed people for ethnic reason.

A judge asked if efforts had been made to ascertain the affiliation of those arrested for ambushing a private bus carrying policemen in Korangi.

The IG said nine policemen had been killed in the recent wave of violence and the bodies of two of them had been found in gunny bags.

Replying to a question, the IG said the extortion mafia collected money from every house and business concern in areas under their influence. The menace of extortion, he said, had surfaced about 12 years ago.

Earlier only one community was involved in extortion but now all ethnic groups were involved in it. The IG said there were a large number of illicit weapons, including rocket launchers and anti-aircraft guns, in the city.

He said police had not found any torture cell, but Rangers had discovered two. He said there were 32,000 police personnel in Karachi and 8,000 of them were on VVIP duties.

The hearing was adjourned till Tuesday.
Source: Dawn
Date:8/30/2011