“We are not here to kill to criminals, in fact we want to bring about the writ of law which has ceased to exist in areas like Bagarji Bello,” claimed Sukkur SSP Pir Mohammad Shah.
SSP Shah was speaking to reporters on Saturday at a press conference about the 10-day police operation in Bagarji Bello.
Shah said that the police’s purpose is to ‘terrorise’ criminals by forcing them to abide by the law which they have done by entering and establishing their presence in Bagarji Bello.
“We don’t want to indulge in unnecessary killing, we only want to terrorise the criminals to the extent that they are forced to surrender,” he said.
Why Bagarji Bello?
The area is believed to be a safe haven for notorious criminals, the senior police officer said. Even though it had a police station, it was “literally” in the control of criminals. He said that they openly challenged the police but no one dared responding to them.
Following his posting two months ago, Shah said that he issued a warning to criminals to “surrender or get ready for action.”
While some had surrendered, others stayed put.
SSP Shah said that the area is used as a hideout to for kidnapped victims as well as for storing stolen cattle heads, cars and motorcycles. Because it’s a dense forest, criminals can’t be easily seen.
The Bagarji Bello operation, he said, was not an operation per se but they had entered the area to establish the writ of law. “Soon after entering into Bagarji Bello we have established a base camp where 100 commandos have been deployed.”
The commandos have been brought in from Karachi and deployed to keep an eye on criminals who move along the protective dyke, while the district police are conducting the operation.
The tricky bit is that the area borders of the katcha areas of Khairpur and Shikarpur where criminals have space to move. The Khairpur and Shikarpur police have also been put on high alert.
According to the SSP, there are about 29 high profile criminals in the area. Five of these have surrendered and others are also making promising noises.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 10th, 2012.