News Desk |
Days after the Supreme Court observed that Karachi is no more a city of lights, it has emerged that Karachi is city of absconders too where out of 57,000 in Sindh, Karachi takes the lead by housing 22,000 of them. Authorities believe that failing to arrest these suspect is one of the reasons behind the criminal activities in the metropolis, an English daily reported, where street crimes have witnessed an alarming increase over the last couple of years.
With such a huge number of accused on the run, the Sindh police have finally sought support from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to get their names placed on the Exit Control List (ECL) and block their computerized national identity cards (CNIC).
Karachi has no semblance of a city rather it looks like a big chunk of a slum, the judges stated in the judgment.
“A request [in this regard] has been sent to the Federal Investigation Agency to put the names of these absconders on the Exit Control List,” AIG Legal-II Habib Khan told Dawn. “Similarly, in a formal interaction with Nadra, it has been requested to block the CNICs of the absconders in compliance with the orders of the Sindh High Court.”
Where did absconders emerge from?
In April, the details of the accused at large had emerged after a superintendent of police filed a report before Justice Salahuddin Panhwar of the Sindh High Court (SHC). In March, the bench had directed the police to submit the details of an absconder accused on a petition of a woman, Nooran, seeking arrest of the accused involved in the murder case of her son.
In the report, the police stated that there were over 57,000 absconders in the province and over 22,000 of them were in Karachi alone. The police report said that there were a total of 57,224 absconders in the province. Of them, 22,171 accused persons were at large in Karachi and 35,053 in remaining five divisions of the province.
Karachi is no more a city of lights, it has emerged that Karachi is city of absconders too where out of 57,000 in Sindh, Karachi takes the lead by housing 22,000 of them.
It added that the cases of 1,347 absconders were pending before the anti-terrorism courts (ATC) of Karachi. Similarly, the cases of 7,044 absconding accused are pending trial before the ATCs of Hyderabad, Sukkur, Larkana, Mirpurkhas and Shaheed Benazirabad and 28,009 before other courts of five divisions.
The authorities concerned said that blocking CNICs can help identify the suspects and paralyze their routine social and economic activities, adding that there is always a strong possibility of their involvement in different criminal activities while living freely without any check from the law enforcement agency.
98,852 absconders, proclaimed offenders in Sindh
Earlier in May 2017, it was reported that the Sindh police had informed the SHC that total 98,852 absconders and proclaimed offenders (POs) were at large in different districts of the province. The additional inspector general (legal) had stated that 57,528 absconders and 41,324 POs were at large in the province.
While expressing concern over the alarming number of absconders and POs at large, the SHC’s Justice Panhwar had remarked that an absconder could be easy prey for terrorists to keep the law and order situation upset on a permanent basis, particularly in a city like Karachi.
The police stated that there were over 57,000 absconders in the province and over 22,000 of them were in Karachi alone.
It was then that SHC had ordered the police chief to place the names of POs on the exit control list, set up a website listing the names of absconders and relevant data, and freeze their bank accounts and identity cards.
In July 2017, the Supreme Court had ordered the interior ministry, NADRA and provincial home authorities to block the national identity cards of all the accused and suspects whom the prosecuting agencies have shown as absconding from the courts.
Karachi no more city of lights, it looks like big chunk of slum: SC
Apart from the alarming figures of fugitive from law, the Supreme Court has expressed serious concerns over the civic infrastructure of the mega-city – once called city of lights – in a recent judgment.
The two-judge bench comprising Justices Gulzar Ahmed and Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel has ordered the Sindh Chief Minister to sit with the Karachi mayor and all civic agencies to promptly resolve the issues so that the city is save from a massive collapse.
The police report said that there were a total of 57,224 absconders in the province.
“There are no trees, no greenery, no parks, no playgrounds, no roads, no hospitals, no universities, no schools, no colleges except those which were made by the government somewhere about 40 years ago,” the judgment read.
“No water, no sewerage, no safe and secure and decent recreation and shopping areas. There is on all roads katcha or pukka dirt, filth, heaps of garbage, sewerage water, defaced walls, incomplete and unpainted ghostly haunted structures, ruined buildings in state of imminent collapse, stray dogs menace, no fumigation of the city to rid itself form dangerous life-threatening germs and mosquitoes. Graveyard spaces have become scarce,” it added.
“It is no more a city of lights which is being portrayed by the city administration nor is this the city of gardens. Karachi has no semblance of a city rather it looks like a big chunk of a slum,” the judges stated in the judgment.
Subsequently, the court has ordered the Sindh Chief Minister to sit with the Karachi mayor and all civic agencies to resolve the issues with “absolute promptness” to save the city from massive collapse.