KARACHI: While the provincial and federal government grappled over extending policing powers for Sindh Rangers in Karachi, the paramilitary force on Wednesday released its performance report over the ongoing security operation in the megalopolis. While it claimed that crime had reduced drastically during this period, the data betrayed a creeping control on law enforcement in the city being exerted by the force.
The report claimed that since the start of the Karachi security operation on September 5, 2013, the Rangers had carried out 5,795 operations during which they had apprehended 10,353 suspects and recovered 7,312 weapons and 34, 8978 rounds of ammunition. However, less than half of the suspects arrested, 4,950, had been handed over to the police for legal prosecution.
The report added that a total of 826 terrorists, 334 target killers, 296 extortionists were arrested during this period. The Rangers also expanded their sphere against kidnappers, arrested 82 abductors and securing the release of 49 people from their captivity.
The Rangers also traded fire with criminals, engaging in a total of 224 “encounters”. In these ‘encounters’, Rangers said that they had killed 364 suspected criminals and arrested 213 others.
The paramilitary force in its report claimed that the incidents of kidnapping for ransom, target killings, extortion and bank robberies, and other crimes had reduced significantly in the city since the Karachi operation was initiated.
Providing a monthly comparison, the report claimed that incidents of target killings had reduced after having peaked at 73 in December 2013, to less than 10 in June 2015. The data claimed to show a steady decline in killings save a spike in January 15 when 53 people were gunned down. The data, however, seemed to skip some of the high profile cases in the city including the Safoora bus attack where six people had shot dead 45 people.
A total of 174 cases of kidnapping for ransom were reported in 2013; 115 in 2014 whereas so far only 13 cases had been reported, the performance report added. However, the data provided by the Rangers on kidnapping failed to clearly mention the period for recording the data during 2013 and 2015. Nor did it explain whether all the cases it was claiming were being directly reported to the Rangers for resolution or were these passed on from the police. Further, it can also not be ascertained whether the reason for the decrease in cases was due to effectiveness of Rangers or that the public was reporting fewer cases to them.
Similarly, regarding extortion, the report claimed 1,524 cases were reported in 2013 as compared to 899 cases in 2014 and 249 so far in 2015.
The report also claimed a reduction in bank robberies in the city, stating that the number had fallen from 29 cases in 2013 to a mere seven in 2015. A total of 19 robberies were reported in 2014.