Centre, Sindh to work in unison on anti-bandits operation
Sh Rashid meets CM Murad who wants sophisticated equipment from federal govt as full-scale operation looms
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The federal and Sindh governments have decided to work in unison to restore peace and security in the province in the wake of fierce attack by bandits on police personnel in Katcha area of Shikarpur, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed met with Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah in Karachi on Thursday to deliberate on the security situation on the orders of Prime Minster Imran Khan in the aftermath of Sindh police’s ongoing operation against bandits in the riverine area of Shikarpur district.
The PM directed the interior minister to devise a strategy to handle the deteriorating law and order situation in the province.
Interior Secretary Yousuf Naseem Khokhar, DG Ali Nawaz, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah and adviser on law also attended the meeting.
At least four people including three policemen were killed in anti-dacoit operation in Shikarpur. The bandits had attacked an armoured personnel carrier (APC) with sophisticated ammunition on May 23. The video of the besieged policemen was also released pleading for help.
A day later, police rounded up a tribal chief Sardar Tegho Khan Teghani and his two sons on the charges of patronizing kidnappers in the district after an FIR was registered with the police alleging that Sardar Teghani and his sons were patronizing kidnappers in his native area of Garhi Tegho.
In his meeting with CM Murad, Interior Minister Sh Rashid asked the provincial government to book bandits on terrorism charges.
The CM apprised the interior minister that the Sindh area stretching from Gaddu to Kotri barrage is Katcha area and there also runs a jungle measuring 5-6 kilometres long in this area. Three borders i.e. Punjab, Balochistan and Sindh join together at Kashmore area. The criminals residing in the jungle stop the flow of river towards their dera, the CM said.
Mr Murad said on May 23 eight kidnapped persons were recovered from the Katcha area of Shikarpur during an operation. He claimed that bandits attacked the police party when their APC broke down. Two policemen were martyred in the attack.
He was of the view that the incident came into media glare in the same manner as Ludy gang in Dera Ghazi Khan first murdered the poor people then released their video.
Murad said Pakistan used to be on 6th number in the rank of most dangerous countries list, now its number was 126. He boasted that PPP had cleared highways in its grand operation in 2007. He said Karachi security situation was so bad and there were no-go areas in the city. But the PPP restored peace, he added.
CM Murad told Mr Rashid that since the latter was interior minister he could visit Sindh whenever he liked. He assured him of the province’s cooperation, saying ‘you are welcome here in Sindh’.
Murad told the interior minister that the provincial government needed some sophisticated equipment for the operation and the interior ministry could help Sindh in this regard. Mr Rashid assured him of ministry’s full cooperation for the restoration of peace in the province.
CM Murad was certain that soon the Katcha area would be purged of the bandits.
Full-scale action about to unfold
The Shikarpur police have girded up its lions to launch a full-scale operation against the bandits in Katcha area backing by special commandoes, a large force of police and armored personnel carriers.
The Shikarpur police had recovered two kidnapped persons on Thursday, bringing the total number of recovered persons to 12.
Special police commandoes are taking part in the anti-bandit action, police said and added that APCs and rocket launchers had been dispatched for the full-scale action.
After intervention both from the federal and provincial governments, the police have sprung into action to eliminate bandits who have put up a stiff resistance against the law enforces for the past few days
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah also visited Shikarpur on Wednesday. Addressing police personnel at the SSP office in Shikarpur, CM Murad said that even Rangers and Pakistan Army personnel could be called in to assist police in the operation, if required.
He added the provincial government considered the deaths of two police jawans and one photographer in clashes with dacoits a big loss.
Reporters Azad Nehriyo and Abdul Jabar Abro