Sindh to intensify counter measures against street crimes, katcha dacoits' factor

96 out of 118 kidnapped citizens have been recovered, and 22 remain still missing, the meeting told

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Representation image of robber snatching mobile phone (left), while other picture shows armoured vehicles of police and Rangers partaking the operation against bandits in katcha (riverine) forests. — CPLC/Geo News screengrab
Representation image of robber snatching mobile phone (left), while other picture shows armoured vehicles of police and Rangers partaking the operation against bandits in katcha (riverine) forests. — CPLC/Geo News screengrab
  • CM Shah instructs police chief to initiate e-tagging of repeat offenders.
  • New police pickets on left bank of River Indus to contain katcha dacoits.
  • Abduction of ransom incidents will be considered terror financing: CM.

KARACHI: The Sindh apex committee, headed by Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, has decided to take two-sided action to counter the rising menace of street crimes, as well as abductions for ransom of citizens by katcha (riverine area) dacoits. 

According to n statement issued by the CM House on Monday, it has been decided to adopt special measures for monitoring of the sale of stolen or snatched mobile phones and vehicles as spare parts or in their complete form in the markets of Karachi. 

Subsequently, the provicial chief executive also directed the police department to reactivate the Shaheen Force and revamp Madadgar-15.

Sindh CM Syed Murad Ali Shah chairs the apex committee meeting at the CM House on April 22, 2024.  —X/@SindhCMHouse
Sindh CM Syed Murad Ali Shah chairs the apex committee meeting at the CM House on April 22, 2024.  —X/@SindhCMHouse

Additionally, police pickets will be established to strengthen the left bank of the River Indus and contain the dacoits within the katcha area.

“The recovery of ransom from the families of the kidnapped individuals will be considered terror financing and the people involved in facilitating the collection of the ransom amount would be identified through intelligence work to crush them, " CM Shah said while presiding over the 30th apex committee meeting.

Street crimes

Sindh Home Minister Ziaul Hassan Lanjar and Inspector General Police (IGP) Ghulam Nabi Memon while briefing the meeting said that street crime particularly mobile snatching and four-wheeler and two-wheeler theft has decreased due to improved policing, however, the cases of four and two-wheeler snatching has shown slight increase.

Comparative figures for the first three months (January to April) of 2023 and 2024 indicate a decrease in the number of theft cases reported, the statement read.

In 2024, 15,345 two-wheelers were stolen which is 953 cases less than the 16,298 incidents reported in 2023. Similarly, the theft of four-wheelers decreased by 145 cases with 520 vehicles stolen in 2024 as compared to 665 in 2023.

The number of mobile phones snatched also showed a decline, with 6,813 cases reported in 2024 as compared to 8,688 in 2023, indicating a decrease of 1,875 cases. According to the statistics, there has been a significant increase in the snatching of four-wheelers and two-wheelers.

In 2023, 60 two-wheelers were snatched, and this number increased to 80 in 2024. Similarly, 1,805 two-wheelers were snatched in 2023, while the number of cases rose to 3,094 in 2024. However, the overall figures of street crime have shown a decrease of 1,613 cases.

In 2023, 27,680 cases of street crime were registered, while the number decreased to 26,067 in 2024. The meeting was reported that the police conducted 467 encounters in 2024. In these encounters, 67 criminals were killed, 489 were injured and 1,766 were arrested. The weapons recovered from the criminals included one SMG, 2,111 pistols, 30 rifles, seven shotguns and 18 grenades.

The chief minister instructed the provincial police chief to reactivate the Shaheen Force with a dedicated motorcycle squad of 386 motorcycles. The squad should patrol the identified hotspots during peak hours, and each SSP should issue and implement a patrolling plan.

Additionally, the police department was also directed to revamp Madadgar-15.

The home minister announced that an additional 168 vehicles, including 120 motorbikes, would be deployed to enhance the police force's capabilities.

E-tagging of street criminals

CM Shah instructed the police chief to initiate the e-tagging of repeat offenders. A pilot project should be started with 4,000 devices.

The IGP reported that rules have been drafted and standard operating procedures (SOPs) are being formulated for the e-tagging process. The meeting was informed that 67 investigation officers have been assigned to cases of robbery with murder, robbery, and injury.

The police have activated the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) to investigate this genre of cases.

CM Shah also directed the IGP Memon to upgrade the command and control centre at the Central Police Office (CPO). Currently, 2,000 cameras are already installed, 325 new cameras are being installed, and 500 old cameras are being upgraded to enhance security measures.

Dacoits' factor

The home minister informed the meeting that he had visited all the districts of Sukkur and Larkana divisions, where dacoits have been causing problems.

He stated that since July 2022, the government constructed 107 police pickets along the left bank of the River Indus, where 759 police personnel are currently deployed.

It was mentioned that 567 people have been saved from kidnappings through honey traps.

CM Shah emphasised that the left bank of the River Indus has been secured, and now there is a need to strengthen the right bank to secure the Shikarpur and Kashmore districts.

The meeting noted that 118 people were kidnapped from January to April 19, 2024, of whom 96 have been recovered, and 22 remain missing.

118 people were kidnapped from January to April 19, 2024, of whom 96 have been recovered, and 22 remain missing.

Lanjar assured the meeting that he has visited the areas and is making all-out efforts for the recovery of the remaining people. He also informed the meeting that there were only about 90 dacoits, and the others were their tribesmen.

He added that he has spared 3,000 policemen and deployed 1,000 each in Ghotki, Kashmore, and Shikarpur. He further mentioned that he has discussed the matter with the RPO Bahawalpur and DIG Rajanpur for the establishment of police pickets on the side of the Punjab province.

The chief minister directed the chief secretary to get the work on the Ghotki-Kandhkot bridge sped up.

Rangers DG told the CM that he has also deployed Rangers for the security of the workers engaged in the construction work of the bridge.

Illegal spectrum

The meeting was told that the Ministry of Interior has notified 10 Joint Check Posts (JCPs). The JCPs are manned by Police, Rangers, Customs, and Agriculture Department personnel.

The CM said that the JCPs would be constructed and equipped on both sides of the road.

Anti-smuggling operation

Chief Collector Custom, South told the meeting that between January and April, 642 seizures of smuggled goods worth Rs5184 million have been made.

He added that the Rangers handed over 250 cases valued at Rs411 million, the Police handed over 26 cases valued at Rs251 million, and 190 cases valued at Rs3.303 billion.

At this, the CM said that coordination between the different law enforcement agencies was making good progress.

Mr Memon said that his department has started an awareness campaign in different Colleges/universities to avoid drugs.

He added that during the last few months, 164 cases of narcotics have been registered against which 166 persons were arrested, seized 27 vehicles, and 22 motorcycles. He added that 4.380kg of heroin, 419.472 hashish, 1300kg of cannabis, 623 bottles of foreign liquor, 522 bottles of beer, 7154 litters of illicit liquor, 12.38kg of Ice, and other things have been recovered, the statement concluded.

The meeting was attended by Sindh Minister Information Sharjeel Memon, Home Minister Ziaul Hassan Lanjar, Mayor Karachi Murtaza Wahab, Corps Commander Karachi Lt Gen Babar Iftikhar, Chief Secretary Asif Hyder Shah, DG Ranger Major General Azhar Waqas, PSCM Agha Wasif, Home Secretary Iqbal Memon, IG Police Ghulam Nabi Memon, Advocate General Hassan Akbar, Commissioner Karachi Hassan Naqvi, Adl IG Karachi Imran Yakoob, Chief Custom Collector Mohammad Yakoob Mako, Water Board Chief Officers Asadullah Khan and other concerned officers.