Street crimes soar as controversy rages over police powers for Rangers

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Salahuddin Haider

Karachi

An unfortunate situation has begun to develop as Sindh government continues to deny powers of siege, search and arrest to Rangers, and police, taking over control of the city appears to lack in training, and appears incapacitated to handle with the rising crime rate in Karachi.
Traders, factory owners, and shop-keepers once again have begun to feel insecure, but authorities in the southern province, remain adamant on confining the Para-military force to guard duties for ports, airports, governor’s and chief minister’s houses, provincial assembly buildings, and the likes.
This has been happening for well over a week, but there is no change in the situation. Rangers have withdrawn themselves to specified places, or are patrolling in their vehicles, armed with guns, aimlessly, and without any purpose.
Luckily, no major incident has happened during this period, but residents complain that they were again at the mercy of gangsters and criminals, frequenting their areas, and instilling a sense of fear in them. Some of them have started to pin hopes on federal government, and are encouraged by a recent statement from interior minister Chaudhri Nisar that pending decision from Sindh administration, he would be constrained to exercise other options.
Sources said that Director General, Sindh Rangers, Maj-General Mohammad Saeed has written a letter to the Interior Secretary, stating that Rangers would only be able to secure four out of twelve sensitive areas in Karachi due to the limitations in troops.
The federal government, under the National Action Plan and the Anti-Terrorism Act, had empowered the Rangers to lead a targeted operation with the support of police against criminals involved in targeted killings, kidnappings for ransom, extortion and terrorism in Karachi.
Meanwhile a TV report said that atleast 27 persons, including a gang war commander, were apprehended during police operations in different parts of Karachi in last 24 hours, officials said. According to details, police arrested Lyari gang war commander Arif from Mawach Goth area after an encounter while two of his accomplices managed to escape from the scene.
Police sources said that Arif belonged to Lyari gang war’s Bahadur PMT group and was involved in killing police official Naqeeb Ullah and two boxer brothers. He was also involved in cases of extortion. Separately, a police official opened fire a wounded a dacoit during a robbery attempt at the Lyari Adam Khan Road area.
On the other hand, police conducted a search operation in Khamiso Goth area of New Karachi during which 25 suspects were taken into custody in house-to-house search, said the report