KARACHI: Killing of policemen in Karachi has risen to an alarming level as 14 cops, including SP CID Chaudhry Aslam, were targeted during the last 17 days of New Year 2014.
According to statistical data obtained from rescue and police sources, the incidents of target killing occurred in Pirabad, Madina Colony, Shah Latif, Orangi Town, Gulberg, Taimuria, PIB Colony and Gadap Town.
A head constable Lal Haleem and a constable Mohammad Younus (PS Peerabad) were killed on January 4. Constables Mohammad Khan and Mohammad Raheem were killed in Madina Colony on January 5. Another constable Saifullah was killed during encounter with land grabbers in Gadap on January 5, while Constable Abdul Khaliq was targeted in Shah Latif area on January 7.
SP CID Chaudhry Aslam and Constables Farhan and Kamran were killed in a suicide bomb attack on Lyari Expressway on January 9.
Inspector Iqbal Hussain was killed in Orangi Town on January 13 while Sub-Inspector Allah Ditta and ASI Wali Mohammad of Gulberg Traffic Section were shot dead on January 15. A head constable, Mohammad Javed and constable Asif Khan of Taimuria police station were gunned down on January 16.
As per data available from Citizen Police Liaison Committee (CPLC), 186 policemen were killed in 2013 while in 2012, 122 policemen were killed that include one SP, three inspectors, 11 sub-inspectors, 18 assistant sub-inspectors, 18 head constables and 71 police constables.
In 2011, a total of 53 policemen - four sub-inspectors, eight assistant sub-inspectors, 12 head constables and 29 police constables - lost their lives in the line of duty. Meanwhile, in eight years, from 1992 to 2010, around 250 policemen were gunned down in Karachi.
Talking to PPI at his office, spokesman of Additional Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Shahid Hayat Khan, Atique Shaikh said that the recent killings were criminal groups' retaliation to the successful targeted operation in the city. "Recent operation was a heavy blow for criminals and they are now trying to attack police in order to lower police morale."
Shaikh said that Karachi police had 1,315 bulletproof vests and 36 armoured personnel carriers, which were low for the security of personnel present on the ground and fighting criminals. "In such a condition where criminal elements are targeting law enforcing authorities in retaliation to recent operations, we need bulletproof vests for each of our personnel."
He said that only 14,000 policemen were deployed in 143 police stations of the city while 8,000 others were guarding VIPs and 3,000 posted in intelligence agencies. He said: "We have a sanctioned force of 32,000 but only 27,000 were recruited in police. We urgently need to recruit 5,000 more police personnel."
He further said that in modern cities, there is one policeman for 100 people, but in Karachi, the figure had risen sharply to one cop for 1,340 civilians.
Meanwhile, when contacted, Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon said that the law enforcement personnel were being attacked on a frequent basis as a reaction to the instances of targeted operations aimed at busting the criminal networks operating in the city. However, he said that the crackdown against criminals, gangsters, terrorists, extortionists and target killers would continue till every miscreant was apprehended.
Sindh government, he said, would continue its drive to equip law enforcement agencies with sophisticated weaponry and equipment, including better bulletproof vests, armoured personnel carriers and modern guns.
Memon said the frequent attacks on policemen would not affect the morale and determination of law enforcers in their fight against lawless elements. "The police would soon be able to bring to justice the perpetrators behind recent killings of policemen," he concluded.
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