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8 Feb Polls: Sindh CM Reviews Police Deployment

KARACHI: CM Sindh Justice (R) Maqbool Baqar chaired 30th Provincial Apex Committee meeting at CM House Tuesday (6th Feb, 2024) to review election arrangements and national action plan tasks.

The meeting was attended by provincial ministers, Brig. (R) Haris Nawaz, Omar Soomro, Ahmad Shah, Corps Cmdr Lt. Gen Babar Iftikhar, Chief Secretary Dr Fakhr-e-Alam, DG Rangers Major Gen Azhar Waqas, IG Police Riffat Mukhtar, Advocate General Hassan Akbar, Chairman P&D Shakil Mangnejo, Home Secretary Iqbal Memon and PG Fayaz Shah.

During the Apex committee meeting, the chief minister reviewed the arrangements for the upcoming election.

The committee was informed that there would be a total of 19,008 polling stations, including 5,657 normal, 6,550 sensitive, and 6,801 highly sensitive ones.

IG Police Riffat Mukhtar shared the police deployment criteria, stating that four police personnel would be deployed at a normal polling station, five at a sensitive one, and seven at a highly sensitive polling station.

A total of 143,156 police personnel would be deployed at the polling stations, including 95,400 at the normal polling stations, 10,648 in the QRF Police, and 37,108 in the Auxiliary Force.

Additionally, the Rangers and Army would be deployed for QRF duties at selected highly sensitive polling stations, in addition to the police force.

Corps Cmdr. Karachi Lt. Gen. Babar Iftikhar informed the CM that army troops had been dispatched all over the province to serve as the third tier during the general elections.

The chief minister expressed his satisfaction with the election arrangements and mentioned that he had personally visited the divisional headquarters of the province to review the arrangements. The regional election commissioners present at the meeting also expressed their satisfaction with all the arrangements, including security ones.

The CM pointed out that in November 2023 the situation of street crime was disturbing, on average 265 per day street crimes were reported, 15 Madadgar responses were slow, Police Vehicles were in dismal condition, and organized crime was unchecked.

At this the IG said that a dedicated motorcycle squad of 386 Motorcycles known as Shaheed Force has been established for spotting peak hours and hot spots.

He added that Madadgar-15 has been revamped with the deployment of an additional 300 vehicles and 120 Motorbikes.

Efforts are in hand with Google and Apple through the European Emergency Number Association – EENA112 for exact locations for the provision of AML (Advance Mobile Location), Riffiat Mukhtar disclosed.

He added that a dedicated application would be launched by Feb 10 for dialing through Android and IOS App for exact locations.

30 New computer terminals and eight large screens have been added in the call centre for the visibility of force. The Call agents are trained twice by the University of Karachi on Empathy.

Talking about Madadgar-15’s achievements, the meeting was told that the Call Answering & Response Ratio increased from 92 to 98 per cent.

Mobiles average response time reduced from 10 minutes to 6 minutes with the usage of vehicles’ exact locations systems and deployment of additional vehicles and bikes.

Engagement with street criminals has been increased, the IG Police claimed and added that from 23 Sep to 24 Jan 581 Encounters were made in which 71 criminals were killed, 615 criminals injured, 1,037 arrested red-handed.

As a result, Street Crime has decreased by 4.19 per cent during 2023. IG Police said that per day average street crimes have decreased to 213- which means 19 per cent [decreased].

The meeting was told that overall law & order has improved in Katcha areas, especially on the left bank of the River Indus.

The crimes under major heads as kidnapping for ransom (KFR), dacoity and robbery are under control.

Patrolling and picketing have been enhanced, IG Police said that the district Kashmore was disturbed due to ongoing action against dacoits.

The dacoits challenge the law enforcement agencies with more attacks and KFRs to exert pressure to retreat.

DG Rangers Major Gen Azhar Waqas told the meeting that the Rangers also conducted 47 Intelligence Based Operations in the Katcha areas and arrested 145 dacoits/ criminals, confiscated over 86 Weapons along with 5,248 ammunition rounds. He added that 10 additional check posts and one Base Camp have been established to secure movement on the Indus Highway/ National Highway.

The DG Rangers said that on the directives of the chief minister Platoon Rangers have been deployed to protect Ghotki Bridge construction site. Now the construction work on the bridge has been started.

Home Secretary Iqbal Memon told the meeting that the provincial government has repatriated 43,623 illegal foreigners, of which 42,093 returned Voluntarily and 1,530 were deported since 1st October 2023. It was pointed out that 81,106 illegal foreigners were PoR Card Holders and 65,936 ACC Holders.

The meeting was told that 165 cases of terrorism were registered in 2022, of them 147 were challaned, 64 were still under trial and 16 have been convicted. Comparatively, in 2023, some 285 cases of terrorism were registered of them 252 were challaned, 209 of the challaned cases were under trial and 23 have been convicted.

The DG Rangers told the meeting that a proactive strategy against banned organizations / Terrorist has been adopted. He added that the Rangers have conducted 42 operations, and mitigated over 44 threat alerts through proactive responses.

The Rangers conducted 121 combing operations to deter terrorist activities in Lyari, Orangi, Landhi, Korangi Gaddap and other areas. The Rangers apprehended 25 extortionists against the complaints in Chakiwara, Gulbahar, Jamshed Qtr & Sohrab Goth.

He said that Rangers have developed close liaisons with Trade associations /business community to support them.

The Rangers supported the police in conducting 176 Operations in which 650 criminals were apprehended including 14 criminal gangs (Rickshaw dacoit gang, weapon supplier gang, and drug peddlers.

The Rangers arrested 71 Repeat offenders in the year 2023. The Rangers have conducted combing operations with the police against criminal elements.

The committee resolved that there would be zero tolerance against militancy. No criminal or armed gang would be allowed to operate.

The meeting was told that at present 126 persons were on 4th schedule, of them 31 are in jail, 28 missing and seven have been traced.

The meeting also reviewed and examined action against illicit arms, narcotics/drug mafia, proscribed organizations, and choking terror financing.