Karachi: Some paroled prisoners unaccounted for, admit authorities
KARACHI: Sindh prison authorities admitted on Tuesday that several of the prisoners released on parole were unaccounted for, while only 168 out of the over 200 let out of jail had completed their sentences. The authorities conceded these facts during a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Sindh Raja Muhammad Abbas at his office. The meeting was held in the wake of the recent short order of the Supreme Court on the ongoing spate of targeted killings in the metropolis. The superior judiciary directed the provincial government to bring back those prisoners released on parole and ensure that they face their trials before the concerned courts.
Informed sources told The News that the Secretary of the newly-created Prisons Department, Ali Hasan Brohi, told the meeting that that out of 193 prisoners released on parole by the PPP government, 168 had completed their sentences.
The sources added that prison officials presented a list of those released on parole and it was pointed out that there were 25 prisoners released on a temporary basis and they never returned.
The participants were informed that previously, the Sindh chief minister was authorised to grant the release of certain prisoners on parole. It was decided during the meeting that details of the parole procedure would be sought from the Punjab government to see how it dealt with the matter.
The Supreme Court, during the recent hearing of a case on the implementation of its directions in the suo moto notice against targeted killings in Karachi, was informed that 35 prisoners were released on parole in 2003 for a period of two years. However, they never returned to face the trials against them.
The apex court was informed that there were 19 under–trial prisoners (UTPs) and two convicts that were also released on parole by the previous government. It was also underlined that 193 prisoners were released on parole by the current PPP-led government.
Meanwhile, Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon, during a press conference on Tuesday, was also asked about the release of prisoners on parole. In reply, the minister said that former Chief Minister Sindh Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim and the judiciary of that era were responsible for the release of such prisoners.
Meanwhile, a meeting at the Sindh Secretariat on Tuesday also exchanged views about another order of the superior judiciary relating to unregistered vehicles. The chief secretary directed authorities to furnish a list of all such vehicles within a week and start registering the vehicles in accordance to the court’s directives.
Sources told The News that much to the surprise of the meeting’s participants; it was revealed that around 64 vehicles of different government departments were also unregistered. The chief secretary directed the excise department to register the official vehicles immediately.
The meeting, attended by senior officials of the police and provincial departments, also exchanged views about target killings, land encroachment and other subjects. The sources said that the provincial police chief informed the meeting that over 100 alleged targeted killers were arrested in recent search operations.
Traffic jams, especially those witnessed in the Old City areas also came under discussion and it was observed that such gridlocks not only created a law and order situation, but also provided an opportunity for criminals to loot the passengers.
The chief secretary directed the Sindh Police Traffic Branch to ensure the smooth flow of traffic and remove encroachments in various areas, specifically Saddar Town’s roads such as Mir Karam Ali Talpur Road, Dawood Pota Road, Preedy Street, Regal Chowk and Urdu Bazar near the Government Women’s College and Radio Pakistan. A number of the roads in these areas had been occupied by the vendors and hawkers.
IG Police Sindh Fayyaz Leghari instructed Traffic police officials to remove traffic irregularities and save citizens from suffering.
The chief secretary warned that no violation of the rules and regulations would be tolerated and road safety measures must be undertaken.
Those others who attended the meeting included Additional IG Falak Khurshid, Special Secretary Home Mudassir Iqbal, Member (L.U) Board of Revenue GM Phull, and Additional IG Special Branch Rasool Bakhsh Saand.