Wednesday Mar 25, 2020
Karachi wore a deserted look on the second consecutive day on Tuesday due to a province-wide lockdown, as military and paramilitary soldiers as well as police patrolled the roads and streets of the city to ensure that citizens stayed indoors, reported The News.
The police continued their action against violators, registered 132 more cases, and arrested 748 more people for violating Section 144 and hoarding masks, sanitisers and gloves. Section 144 has been imposed against gatherings of four or more people across the province, including Karachi, where a total of 36 cases have been registered and 246 people arrested.
After the province-wide lockdown to combat the novel coronavirus was imposed at midnight between Sunday and Monday, police officials started patrolling roads and streets of the city to ensure that no one stepped out of their homes without a good reason.
On the other hand, because of no clear guidelines to the police officers patrolling the streets, a number of incidents have been reported in which police humiliated violators by beating them, making them murgha, and cramming them into overcrowded spaces in police stations as well as allegedly taking bribes from citizens.
Karachi police chief Additional IGP Ghulam Nabi Memon vowed to take stern action against police officers who took the law into their hands. “We are making efforts to take action against such police officers who take law into their hands,” he told The News.
Although the police force has been issued with directives to treat the people with respect in this time of crisis, multiple videos of law enforcers humiliating citizens have surfaced since the lockdown was imposed.
On Tuesday, the Karachi police chief visited parts of the city and reviewed the overall situation. During his visit, he also issued directives to the police jawans performing their duties. He appealed to the citizens not to come out of their homes without a good reason.
Memon also issued a video statement appealing to the citizens to coordinate with the police. He was accompanied by senior police officer. In his video message, he said the police’s job was to protect the life and property of citizens, appealing to the citizens of Karachi to help the police in enforcing the lockdown effectively.
“The government of Sindh has given a task to police to implement the lockdown,” he said. “We are trying to our level best that the citizens should voluntarily confine themselves to their homes.”
Monday was the first day of the lockdown during which 222 citizens were arrested. “We did not want to arrest them. We want people to voluntarily confine themselves to their homes. We do not want to take action against them,” he clarified.
He said that the citizens can complain to the police helpline 15 or Karachi police’s WhatsApp number (03435142770) if they have any complain about any policeman or if any policeman has done anything wrong. He added the police department had its own system for departmental inquiries against such police officers and any policemen found guilty would be dealt with according to the law, and the police department would also approach the complainant to resolve the issue.
Originally published in The News