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Defenceless police: Bulletproof jacket quota simply not for 'everyone'

17 December, 2013

KARACHI: Law enforcement agencies have also become victims of target killing on a regular basis. Those (law enforcers) who were supposed to provide security to civilians are themselves not secure, and seem helpless in front of the terrorists and criminals.

As per reports, as many as 173 police policemen including two deputy superintendents of police, three inspectors, 14 sub-inspectors, 16 assistant sub-inspectors, 30 head constables and 86 constables were killed in different acts of target killing across the metropolis.

Moreover, at least 35 policemen were killed in acts of target killing in different parts of the metropolis during the ongoing-targeted operation.

Most of the officers were killed in district West area, according to the investigation officer of SITE Town Abdul Rasheed Khan, 18 policemen have so far been killed in SITE Town.

Nominated areas where mostly policemen were killed include, Orangi, Pirabad, Qasba Colony, Manghopir, Kunwari Colony, Pakhtunabad, Landhi, Quaidabad, Muzaffarabad, Korangi, Nazimabad, North Nazimabad and Sohrab Goth.

At least 20 to 25 policemen are deployed at the police stations, which have fewer areas within their remits. Sensitive areas have more deployment as opposed to the ones, which are less violence-stricken. The number of policemen in critical areas varies from 60 to 70. Sohrab Goth was the largest police station in which five police posts were formed and around 100 policemen were deployed, however, two police posts were eliminated from Sohrab Goth remits.

Despite the frequent killings of policemen in the said areas, policemen who performed their duties on the roads, have been denied bulletproof jackets, and other protective equipments.

Several policemen have refused to perform their duties, unless they were provided with the necessary attire, including bulletproof jackets. For this purpose, the policemen also appealed to the high ups for their rightful provision.

There are a total 32,000 posts in Sindh Police, but only 27,000 are occupied at the moment.

According to the sources, police department doesn't have bulletproof jackets in huge quantities, therefore, old jackets are being repaired, and so far only 550 have been dispatched to policemen.

Sources privy to the matter further told our sources that more than 4,000 bulletproof jackets would be provided to Karachi police. However, these jackets cannot be "just given to everyone". The quota of available gear is insufficient, and only covers a bare minimum of 10 to 15 percent of the total force, as per the sources. Therefore, even that quota is 'reserved' for those on VIP protocol, said another source

According to an inspector, who does not want to be named, 'officially', around 8,000 police personnel are engaged for VIP protocol, and 17,000 are engaged unofficially.

"They have been given most of the 20,000 bulletproof jackets, that were dispatched at the beginning of Karachi operation, while the remaining are with Rangers on special duties," he said.

Moreover, 17,000 police personnel are stationed in different police stations and posts across the metropolis, with only 2,000 for special units like CID, anti-extortion units, etc.

On a question about helmets, bulletproof jackets and other safety equipment that was promised by Sindh government for the police and Rangers, DIG West Jawaid Alam Odho said, "We were short of bulletproof jackets, but now have repaired old ones, and after a clearance certificate, the items were sent to the policemen for use."

End.

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