Karachi: Increase in killings not alarming, IGP tells SC
KARACHI: As many as 2,375 people met with violent deaths, including political and sectarian killings, in Karachi in 2012 – an increase of 333 as compared to 2011 when 2,042 people were killed — but the Sindh police chief believes the situation is not alarming. Fayyaz Ahmed Leghari conceded on Saturday that killings had increased by around 300 to 400 every year over the last four years, but keeping in view the magnitude of terrorism, which was linked to socio-economic and demographic problems and a mushroom growth in population with no significant improvement in infrastructure, the increase of 333 killings “is not alarming”.
The inspector general of police (IGP) made these observations in a report submitted to the Karachi registry of the Supreme Court, which will resume suo moto proceedings on Monday to ascertain the extent to which the police have implemented its directives to improve the law and order situation in the metropolis.
He said in the report that 2,042 people had been killed in Karachi in the year 2011 as compared to 2,375 who were murdered in 2012. The increase of 333 killings in one year showed an average increase of less than one person a day, he remarked.
On February 6, a four-member bench of the Supreme Court had expressed concern over the killing of more than 2,300 citizens in 2012. It had observed that killings had increased and it had become evident that there was a lack of will, as well as an insufficient allocation of resources, to tackle the “alarming situation prevailing in the city”.
According to the police report, 1,201 people were killed in 2009, 1,727 in 2010, 2,042 in 2011 and 2,375 in 2012.
Regarding police action against criminals, the IGP pointed out that 133 suspects involved in 100 cases of target killings, 995 suspects booked in 717 murder cases, and 221 suspects wanted in 122 extortion cases had been arrested.
The report said 217 proclaimed offenders and 1,691 absconders had been arrested by February 21, and efforts were being made to arrest the remaining 9,414 proclaimed offenders and 38,993 absconders.
The IGP remarked that the police had taken action against criminals irrespective of their affiliations with any political or religious parties; however, there was no clear indication that criminals were actually being patronised or sponsored by any political party that claimed public representation in the city.
He said reports had been called from field units with regard to 224 criminals claiming their affiliations with political or religious groups, but the groups had disowned any association with those criminals and there was no proof that they were members of any political or religious party.
Disputing his predecessor Wajid Ali Khan Durrani’s statement before the Supreme Court that 40 percent of police had political affiliations, Leghari said no declared political affiliation of any police official had been found nor had the police record confirmed that 40 percent of police officials had political affiliations. He said a report confirming such affiliations was prepared neither by an independent body nor by the Crime Investigation Department and the Special Branch of the police.
The Special Branch had been again told to check any political affiliation of police officials and take the disciplinary action if required, he said.
The IGP further stated that the police and Rangers had dismantled torture cells in Baghdadi, Chakiwara, North Nazimabad and other areas, but no clue was found to a video of brutal killings in torture cells.
The jurisdiction of 20 police stations in District Central was changed on administrative grounds, while there was no need to alter the jurisdiction of police stations on the basis of political or ethnic polarisation, he added.
According to the report, 25 strike calls were given from October 16, 2011, to February 8, 2013, in which nine persons were killed and 22, including five policemen, were injured. In the same period, 61 cases were registered and 135 accused arrested. Besides, public and private properties, including 48 vehicles, eight banks, four cinemas and fast food outlets were b.
The home department also submitted details of 24 judicial inquires conducted into law and order incidents since 1985, including Murtaza Bhutto and Maulana Yousuf Ludhyanvi murder cases. A progress report on legislation on illegal arms and arms licences was also submitted.
The senior member of the Board of Revenue also filed reports in compliance with a court order, seeking six more months for completing a survey in the Karachi Division, while another one month for the completion of computerisation and fresh compilation of the land record.
The Board of Revenue member also prayed to court to vacate stay on the mutation and transfer of private land in the larger public interest. Reports have been filed on behalf of the customs intelligence, Anti-Narcotics Force, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and National Alien Registration Authority on their action to curb contraband substances, illegal SIMs and illegal immigrants in the city. A five-member bench, headed by Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, will resume the proceedings on Monday.