Conflicting claims, fake encounters: Sindh mulls to stop reward on terrorists, killers

By: Naimat Khan

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KARACHI: Sindh Government is seriously mulling over to stop the head money its placing on terrorists, target killers and dacoits as, according to home department, the greed for reward is leading to fake encounters, corrupting police officers and tarnishing their image besides declining their efficiency, highly reliable sources said.

A summary floated by Sindh Home Department for approval of provincial chief executive, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, reveals both Sindh Rangers and Sindh Police requested for the reward money of Rs1 million, the PPP-led Sindh Government had placed on a hardened terrorist of LeJ.

According to the summary, a copy of which is also exclusively available to this scribe, Director General, Headquarters Pakistan Rangers Sindh requested for payment of reward money, of 1,000,000 (one million) to Rangers personnel as they apprehended a most wanted terrorist, Qari Abdul Hai Alias Asadullah S/o Ghulam Ali for his involvement in terrorists activities of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in Sindh and Punjab.

Since he was wanted by Government of Sindh, which had also announced Rs 1,000,000 (One million) for his arrest, the home department floated a summary and the chief minister Sindh approved Rs1million and finance department placed the amount at the disposal of home department for disbursement to Rangers personnel. However, there came a twist in the story when the Sindh police also requested for head money on the same accused, claiming these were police guy who had actually accomplished the task, offering reward money.

According to well placed sources, the Inspector General of Police, Sindh wrote to the home department that LeJ guy was arrested by the CID police under the supervision of Shaheed Chaudhry Muhammad Aslam, the then SSP CID Karachi. The then IG Sindh also informed that the matter for distribution of reward money amongst the personnel of CID was under process. Though, this double claims hint at major corruption in LEAs, this is not the only cause of withdrawing the head money on terrorists.

The home department points out that a large number of cases are received from police department for announcement of reward money on the arrest and elimination of criminals. “In some cases, it has been observed that the criminals involved in ordinary cases are being shown as hardened criminals and a reward money in million of rupees is proposed on their arrest and elimination” the home secretary, Dr Niaz Ali Abbasi, writes to Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah. Dr Niaz Ali Abbasi opines that the rewards money has become a vehicle of easy gain and a means of corruption for a large number of police officers. “The reward money culture creeping in Sindh police has gravely eroded efficiency, moral and image of police officers”, the summary reads.

The summary has also cited the comments sent a by former finance secretary who had commented on one of such summaries floated by home department, which states that the trend of reward money should be discouraged.

“The police are paid essentially to curb crimes which included the hardest of criminals. Why should they be rewarded for something for which they are already being paid?” the former finance secretary asks, adding such payment are not justified and does not support the proposal at Para 4.

It was this scenario which compelled the home department to propose that the announcement fixation of reward money on the arrest and elimination of criminals and dacoits should be stopped.

“However, in some exceptional and high profile cases of terrorism, the reward money may be announced for the informers only, who provided proper information leading to the arrest terrorists target killers” it concluded.

It is pertinent to mention that a slain police officer of SSP rank had reportedly received upto Rs8crore for encounters, one of which, the famous Mashooq Brohi case, had earned him Jail custody but was later released due to lack of evidences.

The said SSP officer continued to perform his duties till he was assassinated in a terrorist attack at Lyari express way. According to reports a man, wanted for his lead role, in Abbas Town carnage, was killed thrice in three different encounters.

Author: Naimat

Karachi based journalist, writing on national and international issues.

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