Karachi: Policemen linked to Lyari gangs being removed
KARACHI: As the new police hierarchy plans to take on the Lyari gangs, it has found that some 200 law-enforcers in the department have links with the criminal gangs in one way or another and that they need to be replaced in the first phase of preparations.
Senior officials and sources close to the Central Police Office (CPO) shared facts that came under discussion during recent meetings headed by the inspector-general for deliberations and planning for the lawless vicinity of the city.
“Of the 350-strong police force available for Lyari Town, names of some 200 officials have been scanned who are likely to be transferred or demoted in line with the steps being taken for the establishment of peace and police writ in the area,” said a source close to last week’s meeting of the high-ups.
“Police authorities were very much convinced after reports of past records of these personnel were put before them and have approved their replacement with fresh officers.”
He said a series of presentations made by the officials concerned before the high-ups had led to the decision regarding transfers of some 200 policemen from Lyari Town coupled with an increase in the number of detectives in more than half a dozen police stations of the town.
However, the source said it was a little early to define the mechanism being planned inside the CPO to face the challenge of peace in Lyari, which has been the epicentre of gang warfare for the last several years, posing a serious threat to inhabitants’ life and calling into question the police commitment to curb crime.
“But the first phase of officers’ transfers and postings has already begun with the recent reshuffle of SHOs (station house officers), in which officers at the Kalri, Baghdadi and Chakiwara police stations have been replaced with others,” added the source.
Apart from the gang warfare, police findings suggest that the town has also been fast becoming a hideout of kidnappers, most of whom operate from the area and dump kidnap victims until they strike a final deal with the worried families.
“The recent kidnapping for ransom of a senior doctor of the Lyari General Hospital, who was kidnapped from outside the LGH and released on payment of millions of rupees, substantiates the police assessment,” he added.
He said some three major groups had been behind the kidnapping-for-ransom racket in Lyari but have yet to face any action from police. A couple of deals were still being negotiated by the gangsters, said the source.
Some 42 bus stands inside Lyari Town, which ferry passengers and cargoes between Karachi and Balochistan, have also been targeted in the recent planning phase for Lyari Town.
“They are a source of crime, as they play a role in smuggling of Iranian oil and drugs from Balochistan. The tug of war between gangs over extortion from these 42 bus stands also create a law and order situation in the area,” he said.
As the new political set-up is mulling dialogue with some gang leaders, police authorities appear firm to target criminal elements in the town regardless of their affiliation and influence.
“We are here to beat them (gangs) even-handedly,” said Imran Shaukat, the newly posted SP of Lyari Town. “Our prime objective is to establish the writ of police and maintain peace in the area. It may be a tough task but not an impossible one.”
He said police needed resources and cooperation from the people of the town to achieve its objective, which could be done through establishing inhabitants’ trust in the law-enforcers.
The complete article can be found at Dawn News.