KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah directed the Sindh police to support district administration and the forest department in their efforts to retrieve forest land and lands belonging to the Hindu community which have been illegally occupied by encroachers. He issued these directives while presiding over a meeting on law and order on Tuesday. The meeting also discussed the cases of Nimrah Baig, the deaths of five minors and their aunt at Qasr-e-Naz guest house, the Malir building collapse, the killings in Larkana of three labourers hailing from Bajaur Agency, the honour killing of Ramsha Wassan, and the murder of Irshad Ranjhani.
Shah said 70,000 acres of forest land was under encroachment out of which 25,000 acres of land has been retrieved. “The forest department needs assistance by the police force to get back its remaining land,” said Shah. He directed inspector general of police (IGP) to help the forest department in its efforts.
Besides, the CM stated that members of the Hindu community had filed complaints against the illegal occupation of their lands. Shah directed the district administration to get those lands vacated and hand them over to the legal heirs.
Referring to the incidents of Nimrah and Qasr-e-Naz guest house, the CM said that necessary and effective measures need to be taken to stop such incidents.
Nimrah Baig, 21, a final year student at Dow Medical College, was killed by a stray bullet during a police encounter on February 22. Officials briefed the meeting about the incident and said that an inquiry was underway. They said a progress report on the investigation would be submitted within the next few days.
The CM directed the IGP to conduct a thorough investigation and initiate training within the police force especially for dealing with robbers and dacoits in public places.
Food poisoning case
Karachi commissioner informed the meeting that conclusive lab reports in the deaths of five children and their aunt were still awaited. The incident occurred on February 22 when five children of a family which had travelled to Karachi from Quetta were rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead soon after. The next day their aunt who was in critical condition also died. Initially their deaths were attributed to food poisoning but chemical examination reports by the International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences of the University of Karachi (KU) suggested that the deaths could have been caused by the effects of excessive use of a bed bug spray in the room of Qasr-e-Naz guest house where the family had stayed.
The meeting was also briefed about the building that collapsed in Jaffar Tayyara Society on Monday and it was informed that the building was constructed without an approved plan.
The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), Rangers, police and others reached the scene for the rescue operation but the presence of many parties caused hindrances in the rescue work.
Hearing this, Shah directed his chief secretary to develop a system under which only one agency would be responsible for carrying out rescue operations in such incidents.
Larkana DIG who participated in the meeting through video conference informed the CM that various suspects who were involved either directly or indirectly in the killing of the three labourers have been arrested.
However, he added, the main perpetrators were still at large but their links had been identified.
Three Pakhtun labourers hailing from Bajaur Agency were killed in Larkana on February 13.
Shah said such incidents were unacceptable and police patrolling must be intensified.
Ranjhani murder case
The CM was also briefed about the investigation in Irshad Ranjhani’s murder case. He was informed that the case was being investigated from all angles including personal enmity, robbery attempt and others. Shah directed the IGP to complete investigation within two days and report to him. Jeay Sindh Tehreek Karachi chief Irshad Ranjhani, was shot dead by UC Chairman Rahim Shah on February 7.
Ramsha murder case
The CM was informed that the killers of Ramsha Wassan have been arrested and security has been provided to her family, which has also been taken on board in the investigation process. Ramsha Wassan was killed in Khairpur on February 1 in a case of honour killing.
Karachi law and order
The CM was further informed about the arrests made in Karachi including those of kidnappers, robbers and drug peddlers.
The CM directed the IGP to issue necessary directives to all police ranges and zones to improve law and order in their respective areas.
He further directed Karachi additional inspector-general to increase focus on street crimes within the city and said that there was still a threat to the sustainability of peace in the city.
Present at the meeting were Sindh Chief Secretary Mumtaz Ali Shah, Adviser to the CM on Information, Law and Anti-corruption Murtaza Wahab, Sindh IGP Dr Kaleem Imam Shah, Principal Secretary to CM Sajid Jamal Abro, Home Secretary Abdul Kabir Qazi, Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani, Karachi Additional IG Dr Amir Shaikh, Special Branch Additional IG Dr Walliullah Dal and DIGs from different zones of Karachi. IGs from divisional headquarters also joined the conference through a video link.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 27th, 2019.