Karachi violence: Campaign to start against ‘bhatta mafia’

Fights between groups and death threats are plaguing the businessmen.

Express August 19, 2011


A special campaign against the commonly called bhatta mafia (extortionists) and criminal groups has to begin immediately, decided Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah and Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik at a meeting on Friday.

They decided that the additional inspector general of police will lead a special task force while the DIGs will be in charge of the campaign and will be assisted by intelligence agencies.

They discussed how a recent wave of killing has emerged between various groups, specially the extortionists. The business community is close to a nervous breakdown because of daily threats and demands for extortion. The internal territorial disputes and fights within the mafia only add to the brew.

The ministers felt a need for a long-term strategy and asked the DIGs to come up with new plans. Police and law enforcement agencies were told to step up actions against these groups based on indiscriminate, real-time intelligence.

Meanwhile, sources claim that rival groups who have abducted people from different ethnic backgrounds have been warned to release their hostages within 24 hours as action against them has already been ordered.

Finally, the chief minister asked for a review of the Anti-Encroachment Cell’s performance and its latest operations. All DIGs and Rangers have been asked to deploy more force and enhance patrolling while intelligence agencies have been asked to enhance their physical presence in affected areas.

Additional Home Chief Secretary Waseem Ahmed, Sindh Rangers Acting Director General Brig. Zafar, Inspector General of Police Wajid Ali Durrani, Additional IGP Saud Mirza, NADRA Deputy Chairman Tariq Malik and General Manager Brig (retd.) Zahid and Suparco Project Director attended the meeting.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th, 2011.