Thursday, December 4, 2008

Land and Property disputes major factor behind riots - Shazia Marri

Criminal elements were involved in the three-day riots in Karachi and land and property disputes were one of the major causes, said Provincial Information Minister Shazia Marri, while briefing the media regarding the Sindh Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday. “We will not allow criminals to bring their property and land disputes to the extent where children could not go to schools and the city is plunged into anarchy,” she said, adding that such disputes could be resolved in a legal way and the government will not allow anybody to take the law into their own hands.“Yes, land and property disputes were a major factor behind recent violence,” she told after the briefing.
During the briefing, she also said that the government has already enhanced penalties and punishments to those involved in land encroachments. The revenue department will also reconstitute its force, she added. Provincial Minister for Excise and Taxation Mukesh Kumar and Minister for Information Technology Raza Haroon, who belongs to the MQM, also accompanied her during the press conference. Marri said that the law and order situation in the Karachi remained the focus of the cabinet meeting.

Sindh Home Minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza briefed the cabinet members about the situation, she said, adding that the home minister also produced a police report regarding the law and order state in the city.The cabinet members appreciated the efforts taken by the home minister in bringing the deteriorated law and order situation of the city under control. According to her, the cabinet also decided to repeal the Police Order 2002, as the recent violence exposed the sheer disorganization of the police. “The police had been given full authority but they failed to deliver positive results and lacked accountability,” said Marri.

She said that the cabinet has also given approval for the arrest of those criminals who had been declared absconders by courts under section 87 and 88 of CrPC. She said the government had already banned display of arms, including those carried for self-protection. In addition, Marri said, the cabinet has decided to conduct verification of arms licenses issued during the past few years to ascertain their authenticity. She said that the cabinet members have agreed to centralize the issuance of arms licenses, under which, only the home department will have the authority to issue arms licenses.

The information minister said that the government will announce compensations for those killed or injured in the riots on Thursday. Speaking on the occasion, Raza Haroon said that some criminal elements are trying hard to derail the coalition government’s success and vowed that any such attempts will be thwarted.

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