Over thirty percent of Karachi Police on VIP duty
Wednesday Feb 26, 2014
KARACHI : Additional IG Karachi, Shahid Hayat presented a detailed report before the Supreme Court of Pakistan hearing the Karachi law & order case at the apex courts Karachi registry. The report states a massive 56% decrease in target killing in the city.
The report draws a comparison between the 171 days of the ongoing operation in the metropolis with the same number of days before the operation was launched. In the period before the operation 1,356 people were killed in the metropolis while during the operation the number slipped to 947.
Similarly the number of target killings went down from 1,087 to 425 which is a 56% decrease in this violent crime. Kidnapping for ransom saw a minor drop, according to the report only 50 cases of kidnapping came to light as compared to 56 in the corresponding period before the operation.
The report states that extortion cases witnessed an increase, from 218 reported in the days before the operation was launched the number climbed to 308 following the operation. However the report highlights this is due to “free registration and arrest of extortionists."
While the city of Karachi fell victim to 4 incidents of terrorism in the 171 days before the operation the number rose starkly to 13 during the operation. The report states this rise is a “reaction towards action against terrorists."
In the months leading up to the operation the minimum death toll recorded was in April 2013 when 241 people lost their lives. Following the launch of the operation in September 2013, the number of murders dropped to 153 with a spike witnessed in January 2014 when the number rose to 197.
Karachi witnessed on average 100 plus targeted killings in the eight months before the operation with the lowest number of killings witnessed in July when the number dropped below 100 to 93. Following the launch of the operation in September when 119 people were killed a major drop was witnessed with only 77 target killings in October dropping to 56 in November which has been the lowest in the last 14 months. The report credits the 56% drop in target killings to the arrest of 153 target killers.
Extortion is not a new phenomenon for Karachi businessmen and traders. However in recent years it has spiked not only in terms of frequency of incidents but also in terms of the amounts demanded by extortionists. According to the report 150 extortionists were arrested during the operation between September 2013 and February 2014. By comparison however, the number of extortion cases in January 2013 stood at 30 which climbed to 38 in January 2014. Similarly the number of extortion cases reported in February 2013 stood at 33 while this number for February 2014 stands at 32.
During 2013, the report states Karachi witnessed 29 incidents of Terrorism, adding that 57 terrorists were arrested during the ongoing operation, highlighting that of those arrested 46 are in jail while 3 are in police remand. If the number of incidents during 2014 which total 5 is compared with the corresponding period last year no change is witnessed. In January 2013 and 2014 the city witnessed 2 incidents of terrorism respectively. Similarly last year in February there were no incidents of terrorism in Karachi but in 2014 the number stands at 2 incidents.
Kidnapping for Ransom
Kidnapping for ransom witnessed a stark decline since the beginning of the operation. Up till September 2013 Karachi had witnessed 76 incidents of kidnapping. This number fell considerably to 37, however if the numbers are compared with the corresponding period last year Karachi witnessed 10 kidnappings in January 2013 while this number rose to 11 in January 2014 while in the last three months of 2013 only 12 cases came to light. The report states 71 kidnappers were arrested during the operations of which 67 are in jail and 4 remain in police custody.
In the last almost six months, the report states 437 criminals were convicted by the courts, while the Anti-Terrorism Court convicted an additional 37 criminals. Meanwhile the report states 7,325 people were arrested during the operations of which 5,032 are in jail.
Martyred – in the line of duty
Attacks on police have continued for decades, but in the last few years these attacks have increased in frequency and extreme nature of the attacks. In the eight months prior to the launch of the ongoing operation 117 of Karachi’s finest embraced martyrdom. In the six months following the operation this number stands at 94. While 11 policemen were killed in December 2013 the number rose to 25 in January including the murder of SSP CID Chauhdry Aslam who was killed in a suicide attack on his convoy. The report states the increase in attacks on policemen is in retaliation of the police “action against terrorists and criminal elements."
Police Strength in Karachi
For a city of nearly 20 million residents and rising, the police strength is abysmal. The report states a total posted strength of 25,279 policemen. This total number is then divided between the different branches of police in Karachi.
Of the 25,279 total strength 54.3% or 13,740 are divided between the East, West & South zones. The personnel are deployed at police stations, head quarters and to maintain law and order.
From the total strength 12.5% or 3,072 personnel are deployed at the zonal investigation units and the CIA special units.
Surprisingly 31.4% or 7,956 personnel are deployed at security units deployed at official government buildings and on security duty for VIP’s and other officials. The report states that 204 personnel are deployed at the Chief Minister House, 120 at the Governor House, 473 fall under Court Police, 769 are deployed at the Foreign Security Cell, 505 are part of the Muhafiz and Madadgar 15 (one five) force. The Anti-Encroachment Cell has a strength of 129 while another 10 personnel are deployed with the Private Security Co. Cell. Interestingly of the 7,956 or 31.4% of the entire posted police strength for Karachi 5,746 or 22.7% of the entire police strength is deployed on security duty divided between Security I and Security II.