After much ado, the authorities have decided to shuffle police officers around to increase efficiency and catch some of the most wanted criminals in Lyari and Saddar.
Policemen from the Saddar division, including Darakhshan, Gizri, Boat Basin, Saddar and Preedy, were sent to Lyari’s Chakiwara police station, Kalri police station, Baghdadi police station and Kalakot police station and vice versa. So far, approximately 365 policemen from ten police stations in district South, including 160 from Lyari, were deployed to other police stations, more changes are to be expected.
However, the men claim that this will not resolve the problem. They believe that in order for the police to perform to the best of their abilities, the government needed to formulate a policy which gave them control in Lyari.
A police officer said that it was useless to replace people like this because at the end of the day the residents of Lyari were not afraid of the police. While talking to The Express Tribune, district South SSP Nasir Aftab said that there were a lot of reasons behind the reshuffle. Two of the main reasons were to introduce new faces and to have a force that had no links in the area. The SSP added that these changes were taking place after a detailed study of the area. It was decided that a policeman cannot work at the same station for more than three years. As of Sunday, only the constable, head constable, ASI, and sub-inspectors have been changed. The SHO and head moharars, who manage the day-to-day affairs of a police station, will be changed in the next couple of weeks.
“These changes will help boost the morale of residents and the force,” said the SSP. “However, this will not happen overnight. We plan to take it one day at a time.” He added that transferring the policemen from Lyari to Saddar and Saddar to Lyari, would help the men increase their experience.
According to a frustrated police constable who was transferred to Saddar, a sepoy always tried to walk in his superior’s footsteps so if the senior officer was sincere then the sepoy would be too. He added that unfortunately in Lyari, no one bothered, the officers weren’t interested and neither were the force.
A policeman, who had to leave Saddar for Lyari, said that he was worried as he had not received any briefings or guidelines on how to deal with gangsters. “Lyari is very different from other places in Karachi,” he said. “They should have transferred us one at a time or given us some time to understand how things are done here.”
Former Lyari SP Khurram Waris declined to comment but Crime Investigation Department SSP and Lyari SP Fayyaz Khan told The Express Tribune that transferring the men was a smart move.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2012.