KARACHI: As it receives more and more complaints of alleged human rights violations in the Karachi operation, the Sindh High Court (SHC) has once again asked the law enforcers to share details of the mechanism and legality of the ongoing targeted operation.
The bench also directed the Karachi AIG and the Rangers director-general to look into the matter of the missing persons with ‘extra care and caution’. It said that there are a number of complaints, even FIRs, against the law enforcement agencies for making illegal arrests and detaining missing persons.
Headed by Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi, the division bench passed these directives on Wednesday, when the deputy attorney-general and the provincial advocate-general failed to furnish the details on the mechanism of the Karachi operation despite the court’s directions passed on June 5.
The bench has been hearing several identical petitions seeking the recovery of men allegedly detained by the law enforcers in parts of the city. In their pleas, the petitioners submitted that the two law enforcement agencies have taken their relatives into custody during raids in different areas without any plausible reason. The petitioners said that the officials are not even disclosing the detainees’ whereabouts, which is a violation of their fundamental rights.
During Wednesday’s hearing, the two-member bench asked the law officer of Sindh Rangers to explain the legality of the targeted operations in Karachi. At first, the law officer said the targeted operations are being conducted on the directives of the Sindh government and were later launched on the directives of the federal government.
On the mechanism, the Rangers law officer said there are three types of operations being conducted in the city.
In the first type of operations, the Rangers provide back-up support to the police.
In the second type, the police provide back-up support to the Rangers on their raids. In the third type, both agencies conduct separate raids on their own.
The judges noted that the police conduct raids at houses and also arrests several innocent persons along with the suspects. “It is the responsibility of the court to ensure the enforcement of the law,” one member remarked.
The judges further observed that the once the law enforcers detain the people, their bodies are later found dumped. They noted that, unfortunately, the reputation of the police was already not good and the Rangers are also losing their credibility. “The Rangers and other law enforcement agencies have a good reputation that should not be lost,” the Rangers official was told.
The bench members said fingers are being pointed at the Karachi operation, adding that not only one political party but several other people are also coming to the court with similar complaints. The judges once again directed the DAG and AG Sindh to furnish the mechanism of the operation by the next date of hearing.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 26th, 2014.