KARACHI: The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed Additional Inspector General (AIG) Shahid Hayat Khan’s report on security measures taken to maintain law and order in Karachi, according to which 13,000 suspects have been arrested since September.
The Supreme Court on Monday resumed Karachi law-and-order suo motu implementation case wherein officials of police, Rangers and Sindh government submitted their reports. The case was heard by a three-member bench headed by Chief Tassaduq Hussain Jillani. The bench also includes Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain. At outset of the hearing, Karachi police chief AIG Shahid Hayat presented a report that over 10,000 criminals have been arrested in the past two-and-a-half months, adding that challan has been presented only against 175 of them.
The CJP questioned why have the challans been presented against only a few people as compared to 10,000 arrests. The charges included target killing, kidnapping for ransom, extortion and other serious crimes. Moreover, more than 7,000 cases are currently being heard at sessions court, the AIG informed. The bench expressed dissatisfaction over the report, stating that suspects in prison were running their illegal activities from within their cells without any hindrance.
According to Shahid Hayat’s report about the performance of police 13,000 suspects have been apprehended since September. Justice Khilji Arif remarked that more than 10,000 accused were arrested and only 175 challans were submitted in the court. He said that it is impossible to curb crimes without awarding punishment to the accused. The CJP said that the criminals use mobile phones in the jails, which is the cause of terrorism. Replying to this, Shahid Hayat informed that court that mobile jammers have been installed at Karachi Central Prison. The chief justice observed that the jammers effect mobile communications in the locality, therefore low-range jammers should be used.
Replying to this, AG Shahid Hayat said that Ghausia Colony, PIB Colony and Hyderabad Colony are the most-affected areas and that efforts are underway to reduce the range of jammers. Khan stated that mobile jammers were installed to prevent jailed suspects from communicating with their supporters outside the prison. The bench responded that residents of the area around the prisons were upset as they were affected by the jammers as well. Shahid Hayat assured the court that police would review that matter.
The AIG also complained to the bench that the anti-terrorism courts were busy addressing old cases and new cases were not heard in timely manner. Sindh Board of Revenue senior member Syed Zulfiqar Shah also turned up in Monday’s hearing and told the court that 60,000 acres of land is being illegally occupied in Karachi. He said over 8,000 acres of land is occupied by private grabbers while 52,000 acres is unlawfully possessed by the federal and provincial governments.
Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali said in his remarks that officials of Sindh Police’s Anti-Encroach Cell are also involved in land encroachment. The bench sought a detailed report from the Sindh government on how the authorities will take measures to repossess occupied land. The bench has already ordered the provincial government and law enforcing agencies to chalk out a coordinated system against arms smuggling, gang wars and other criminal activities in the city. The hearing of the case was adjourned until Wednesday.
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