Police riot unit proves to be another failed experiment

Formed for mob control, unit absent during protest at Nasla Tower


Raheel Salman November 29, 2021
Workers use heavy machinery to demolish Nasla Tower on Supre Court orders. The buildng, partially constructed on the service lane of Sharae Faisal, was declared encroachment by the apex court. photo: Jalal Qureshi/Express

KARACHI:

Another police unit set up by DIG Security Maqsood Ahmed Memon has failed. A few days ago, an Anti-Riot Force consisting of Special Security Unit commandos was set up to deal with the law-and-order situation in the city.

The unit was equipped with state-of-the-art anti-riot equipment, but the unit disappeared during an emergency situation at Nasla Tower on Friday.

Earlier, Maqsood Memon's "Skating Unit" and "Urban Flooding Rescue Unit" had also failed to reach the aid of citizens. DIG Security and Emergency Services Division of Sindh Police, Maqsood Ahmed Memon, had formed an "anti-riot force" a few days ago in which he claimed that this force has been formed on the instructions of Additional IG Karachi Imran Yaqub Minhas. The force was inaugurated on November 14.

 In setting up the force and its aims and objectives, Memon said that the force was ready to deal with any situation related to law-and-order in the city. The 500-strong Special Security Unit consists of commandos and members of the security division.

 Equipped with state-of-the-art anti-riot equipment while this unit will also be on round the clock alert. On the other hand, the unit was nowhere to be seen in the emergency situation that arose at Nasla Tower on Friday.

 There was a reserve force of the East Headquarters while all the police personnel who were trying to control the deteriorating law-and-order situation at that time were not equipped with all the anti-riot equipment. Only a few officers had batons and shields.

The police even had to resort to teargas shelling in order to control the protesters and as a result, not only the protesters but also the police personnel faced difficulty in breathing.

 The situation between the police and the protesters which developed at about 4:00pm continued into the night but in the meanwhile, Memon's "Anti-Riot Force" was nowhere to be seen.

Skating Force and Urban Flooding Unit It may be recalled that earlier a "Skating Force" was set up by Memon with the objective of protecting the citizens trapped in traffic jams from looting. He then went on to set up an "Urban Flooding Rescue Unit" to rescue people trapped in the floodwaters in the city but both units have not yet been seen in the city.

Incidents in traffic jams continue as usual but no one knows where the "Skating Force" is. Valuable vehicles of the citizens were washed away in the rains, water entered the houses and shops of the citizens but the "Urban Flood Rescue Unit" did not reach to their aid.

 Citizens have strongly appealed to Sindh IGP Mushtaq Mehar and Additional IG Karachi Imran Yaqub Minhas not to waste the budget of Sindh Police by creating such new units.

If units have been set up at someone's request, they should at least be assigned to serve the citizens.

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