KARACHI: The Supreme Court expressed its displeasure over the performance of Sindh Police claiming that peace in the city had returned only because of Rangers.
A hearing on Karachi’s law and order situation took place after a 20-month long gap on Monday. Security officials including the IG Police Sindh Ghullam Haider Jamali attended the proceedings.
Larger bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali heard the case. The other members included Justice Ameer Hani Muslim, Justice Faisal Arab, Justice Azmat Saeed and Justice Khilji Arif.
After the Sindh Police submitted a security report of the city claiming its success in returning peace to the city, a displeased Chief Justice remarked that peace had only returned in the city because of efficient performance of the paramilitary.
The IG Police said that the police had managed to arrest target killers like Naeem Bukhari and Asif Chotu. "Polio teams have been secured, there are no major bomb attacks and no-go areas in the city have been removed," he said.
To this the CJ remarked, "Do you want a certificate of merit for this?"
“The job of the police is to investigate. How many challans have been produced in the court? How many accused tried?” Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali said.
There were 159 cases of target killing in the city in 2015, and not a single case has been solved, the CJ remarked.
The chief justice said that there were 2000 target killers roaming free in the city. "Does the police consider this a successful operation?" he said.
Justice Amir Hani remarked that short term kidnappings in the city have increased. “Do you know what short term kidnappings are?” he asked the IG.
The bench asked why grenade bombs were being hurled at certain points at Lyari.
50 out of 74 parole cases solved
On a question about criminals on parole, the prosecutor general said that out of 74 cases 50 had been solved. In most cases the accused had been acquitted due to lack of evidence. At least 18 criminals have been sent to jail.
On this the CJ said, "If the police does not investigate cases properly, do they expect the courts to give out death sentences to the accused."
Rangers ask for greater powers
A report presented by the paramilitary to the court said that law and order in the city had improved but the situation was still volatile.
The report said that due to flawed investigation 1100 accused terrorists were acquitted last year.
One of the main suspects of the Safoora Carnage had previously been arrested, but set free after due to lack of evidence.
A lawyer representing the Rangers said that the paramilitary had been allowed 11 prosecutors but the interior ministry did not issue a notification.
The Rangers asked the court for policing powers demanding that they be allowed to register an FIR, establish police stations and submit challans in the court.
The report said that the provincial government was trying to curtail the Rangers’ powers.
Police, Rangers should cooperate with each other
The CJ remarked that instead of playing blame games the police and paramilitary should cooperate with each other.
He said that if law enforcing authorities were finding it difficult to work, they should just pack up and leave.
He added that frequent transfers of police officials were hindering the department’s performance.
He said that the government should ensure de-politicization of the police department.