Targeted operation: Rangers refuse prosecution, investigation powers in Karachi

Published: September 14, 2013
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According to Sindh home department officials, the paramilitary force will only conduct targeted raids against suspected criminals, and investigation and prosecution will remain under the domain of the police. PHOTO: IRFAN ALI/EXPRESS

According to Sindh home department officials, the paramilitary force will only conduct targeted raids against suspected criminals, and investigation and prosecution will remain under the domain of the police. PHOTO: IRFAN ALI/EXPRESS

KARACHI: 

The Rangers have refused to accept the powers of investigation and prosecution in the wake of the ongoing operation to purge Karachi of criminal elements, The Express Tribune has learnt.

According to Sindh home department officials, the paramilitary force will only conduct targeted raids against suspected criminals, and investigation and prosecution will remain under the domain of the police.

“Though it was decided to enhance the powers of the Rangers in the special cabinet meeting [last week], the force is now willing to restrict itself to the targeted operation against criminals. The police will retain the powers of investigation and prosecution,” Additional Home Department Chief Secretary Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah told The Express Tribune on Friday.

Clarifying the mode of operation, he said the Rangers would move the suspects arrested in any raid to the respective focal police station for that particular area. He added that the police will then lodge an FIR against the suspects before handing them over to the joint investigation team – which will comprise officials from the Rangers, Military Intelligence, Inter-Services Intelligence and the Intelligence Bureau. The investigation officer in each case would be a police officer, however, Shah said.

Sources in the home department said the decision to deny Rangers the powers of investigation and prosecution was taken since the paramilitary force has no expertise in those areas. Providing further details on the set-up for the targeted operation, they said the in-charge of each of the five focal police stations in Karachi would belong to the police department.

“On the Rangers’ recommendation, a senior police officer will be appointed as the in-charge of each focal police station which is to be considered the central point in terms of operation and investigation being conducted in an entire district,” a home department official said.

“These officers will play a lead role in investigation and prosecution… No one will transfer these police officers without permission from the Rangers,” he added.

Meanwhile, additional secretary Shah said the government has also approved the notification for setting up the five focal police stations in Karachi for the operation, which will be issued in a couple of days.

On the other hand, a Rangers spokesperson neither confirmed nor denied whether a decision to deny the force the powers of investigation and prosecution had been made.

“I have no idea about this decision… the targeted operation against criminals is continuing without any discrimination,” he said when contacted.

Last week, while briefing the media after the cabinet meeting at the Governor House in Karachi, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had said the government wanted to give the Rangers the lead role in the targeted operation in Karachi, and as such had decided to give them the powers of prosecution and investigation on the request of the Rangers director general.

He also announced that a committee had been formed under federal minister Zahid Hamid Khan to work out a law in this regard.

However, Sindh advocate general Khalid Jawed Khan on Friday said no such legislation was currently being considered by the provincial government.

“The committee has held its meeting on this issue… It is expected that an amendment will be made regarding preventive detention and bail reform,” he said. The advocate general added that the government was considering how to amend the law so that notorious criminals and terrorists could not be easily bailed or acquitted.

“We have also been asked to work on a witness protection bill,” he told The Express Tribune.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 14th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • fyza gandapur
    Sep 14, 2013 - 3:40AM

    Let us not hope for something fruitful then. As if we are all in the dark about who controls the police there. The criminals are not so strong and organized without any backing from political parties and “well-to-do” families. Those providing shoulder to them also influence police too.

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  • Karachikna
    Sep 14, 2013 - 5:11AM

    Rangers are shamefully scared for their lives as they know the fate of all the officials of police that were active in 1992 operation in Karachi. Rangers would raid , arrest and handover the alleged criminal to the police or JIT, then what? He will be out in a day or two. Actually its back to zero.

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  • YP Mississauga
    Sep 14, 2013 - 6:54AM

    The police will retain the powers of investigation and prosecution,” Additional Home Department Chief Secretary Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah told The Express Tribune on Friday.

    We are back to normal, there will be hardly any improvement as we have seen police investigation and prosecution in the past. Majority of those arrested will be released in due course, due to lack of evidence,

    Recommend

  • Shamim
    Sep 14, 2013 - 8:50AM

    Department of Police is not able to prosecute target killer due to black sheep in them. However all criminal will face minor charges against him and hope they relive in short period of time then peoples of Karachi continue to suffer of terrorist activity

    Consequently result will come in = 0

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  • Hammad
    Sep 14, 2013 - 9:33AM

    I guess someone is scared …!!

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  • Hassan
    Sep 14, 2013 - 10:56AM

    finally.. Sindh government retained the provincial autonomy. GOOD DECISIONRecommend

  • Dani
    Sep 14, 2013 - 2:45PM

    PPP government wants this operation against its political opponents specifically MQM and Rangers and Army both knows this so they don’t want to involve in this political drama. PPP is all out to crush MQM before Local Government elections.
    a good decision by Rangers

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  • Ishrat Salim
    Sep 14, 2013 - 7:28PM

    This operation is not going to be successful, if this the way to go forward…..it was decided in Karachi APc that the targeted operation will be monitored by monitoring group compromising of representatives from political parties, media, judiciary and civil society…in absence of this neutral monitoring group as agreed, controversies will persist…..and will to no where…Karachi will continue to be a killing field…..because govt in power is not sincere to resolveme issue of lawlessness…..knowing too well the economic revenue that Karachi contributes to national kitty.

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  • ashar
    Sep 14, 2013 - 7:29PM

    Well it confirms that Rangers are a part of daily bhatta of Karachi and they simply dont want to lose it. This is the time MQM should bring the old boys back in action.

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  • Dr. Asad Sadick
    Sep 15, 2013 - 2:17AM

    We are back to square ONE.

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