In order to improve the security and safety situation as well as the quality of life in Karachi, Sindh’s chief minister has decided to start the implementation of the Safe City Project, for which he has convened a meeting next week so that its different components can be approved.
Addressing a meeting on law & order at the CM House on Saturday, Syed Murad Ali Shah said that the city’s overall situation has considerably improved, which can be gauged from the fact that Karachi’s ranking in the World Crime Index has gone from sixth in 2014 to 103rd in 2020.
The World Crime Index surveys crime levels of 396 international cities. It had ranked Karachi sixth in 2014, 10th in 2015, 26th in 2016, 47th in 2017, 50th in 2018, 61st and then 71st in 2019, 88th earlier this year and 103rd by mid-October.
Sindh police chief IGP Mushtaq Mahar told the meeting that Cape Town has been ranked 19th, Mexico 29th, Kuala Lumpur 38th, Houston 50th, Washington 52nd and Delhi 71st.
The chief executive said the city can be made safer and more secure if the Safe City Project is implemented at the earliest. He told Mahar to convene a meeting with the National Radio & Telecom Corporation next week for a detailed discussion on the project’s technical and financial proposals.
The Safe City Project was conceived in 2011, aiming at installing 10,000 high-powered CCTV cameras across the city in the first phase. The CM had approved Rs10 billion for the purpose but the project cost escalated to around Rs20 billion.
Shah said the security and safety situation as well as the quality of life in the city can be improved with the help of latest technology.
He directed the police department to install 10,000 cameras at different spots, including in the red zones of the city and the problem areas in terms of criminal activities.
The IGP told the meeting said that Eid Milad-un-Nabi will be observed on October 30, and the main procession on the occasion will emerge from Memon Masjid at noon. He said the police department will deploy a force of 4,706 personnel for the security of its participants.
Mahar said that another procession will move from the Merewether Tower at noon and stop at Arambagh Masjid, while the third procession will emerge from Chhutan Shah Mazar at 1:30pm and stop at Purani Numaish. In this way, a total of six processions will emerge from different parts of the city and stop at the spots decided on already, he added. He also said that 947 processions and 902 Mehfils in connection with Eid Milad-un-Nabi will be organised all across the province, and they all will be provided with proper security.
The IGP said that Chup Tazia will take place on the 8th of Rabi-ul-Awwal, which will fall on October 26, adding that a procession will emerge on the day from the Nishtar Park and stop at Hussainian Iranian Imambargah in Kharadar.
He said the procession will be provided with security by a force of 8,000 police officials, adding that another procession will move from Qasr-e-Musayyab in Rizvia Society and stop at Shah-e-Najaf Imambargah, and some 1,200 police officials will provide them with security.
The meeting was informed that 30 Chup Tazia processions will be organised all across the province, of which nine have been declared as most sensitive and five as sensitive.
Sharing the crime situation data, Mahar said that in 2019 a total of 423 murders were reported in the city, while in 2020 a total of 414 cases were reported, which showed a difference of nine cases.
He said that in 2019 a total of 12 target killing cases were registered, while in 2020 a total of eight cases were reported, which showed a reduction of four cases.
He also said that 31 ransom kidnapping cases were recorded in 2019 and 29 in 2020, extortion cases were 107 in 2019 and 116 in 2020, which showed an increase of nine cases. He added that house robberies were 242 in 2019 and 200 in 2020, which showed a reduction of 42 cases.
The IGP said that 1,404 four-wheelers were snatched in 2019 and the number came down by 49 in 2020, when 1,355 snatching cases were reported.
He said that two-wheelers snatched in 2019 were 23,141 and the number increased in 2020 by 5,264, while 15,058 mobile phones were snatched in 2019 and the figure went up to 16,765 in 2020.
The CM ordered that an app should be developed for immediately filing complaints of mobile, car, motorbike and other snatching incidents and robberies without visiting police stations. “This will help the police activate their force all over the city to arrest criminals.”
The chief executive was informed that target killings all over the province have come down by 33.3 per cent, murders by two per cent and extortion cases by 14 per cent.
The CM lauded the professionally launched operation against dacoits in the kutcha area of Khairpur and Larkana. It was a “fabulous performance” of the police of both the districts, he said.
IGP Mahar said the operation was launched in the kutcha areas of Baradi Jatoi, falling in the jurisdiction of the Khairpur and Larkana police, adding that in the operation, six notorious dacoits were killed, each of whom had a Rs2 million head money.
He said that the police recovered an anti-aircraft gun, two G-3 rifles, a sub-machine gun, a rocket launcher with shells and large amounts of ammunition.
Karachi Corps Commander Lt Gen Humayun Aziz said he will get the anti-aircraft gun and other weapons recovered from the dacoits examined by the military’s arms experts to ascertain from where the dacoits had been obtaining such weapons.
The chief executive told the meeting that when he was visiting Sukkur earlier, he had appreciated the Khairpur SSP for the successful operation against dacoits.
The meeting was informed that 8,081 raids have been conducted on drug dens this year, with 12,788 suspects arrested and 10,427 FIRs registered. The meeting was also informed that the police recovered 7,173.959 kilograms of charas, 62.178kg heroin, 23.2kg ice, 170.288kg opium and 195,606 litres of liquor.
The meeting was told that the police arrested 6,383 people for manufacturing Gutka and Mainpuri, seized 625,153kg Gutka and Mainpuri, and sealed 66 manufacturing units. The IGP said that 5,314 FIRs had been registered during the drive.
The chief executive urged the police to continue their drive against drug peddlers. “This is a crusade in order to save our next generation from the menace.”
The meeting was also attended by Information Technology Minister Taimur Talpur, CM’s law adviser Barrister Murtaza Wahab, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Sindh Rangers Director General Maj Gen Omer Bukhari, CM’s Principal Secretary Sajid Jamal Abro, the home department’s Additional Chief Secretary Usman Chachar and other relevant officials.