Army-trained police a much deadlier force now!

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The military-style training, imparted to Karachi police by former police officers Shahid Hayat and Iqbal Mehmood under the name of “refresher course”, appears to have made the law enforcers deadlier.

The city police, according to official figures, shot 477 criminals dead during the year-long targeted operation, from Sept 5, 2013 to September 4, 2014. The number shows that the law enforcers killed 348 (269.7 per cent) more criminals as compared to last year, when some 129 suspects were gunned down between September 5, 2012 and September 4, 2013.

These killings have been made in 1, 831 encounters the police did with the anti-social elements during the ongoing targeted operation in the crime-infested metropolis.

Justifying this deadly approach of the law enforcers, Karachi police spokesman Inspector Atiq Ahmad Shaikh told Pakistan Today that the life-threatening crackdown against terrorists, target killers, extortionists, kidnappers and other outlaws has made the police “extra cautious” about their safety. “It is not about killing. The police remain extra cautious as raiding criminals don’t hesitate to open fire at you,” the spokesman said.

Having been given no license to kill by their higher ups, the raiding policemen tend to gun the criminals down before getting killed by them. The police data reveal that during the year long clampdown at least 118 policemen, mostly of junior ranking like constables, laid their lives in the line of duty.

The preceding year was deadlier for the ill-equipped and ill-trained city police who had lifted 171 corpses of their colleagues from September 5, 2012 to September 4, 2013.

“Such heavy losses made the police higher ups take steps that could significantly reduce the reaction time for the law enforcers while encountering the city’s merciless criminals,” the spokesman said.

Retired officers from army, Rangers and commandoes have been training policemen in military-backed training facilities at Razzaqabad, Chirat etc. “The vice principal of Razzaqabad Training Center, a retired commando, trained the police officers who further trained their subordinates,” explained the spokesman.

In pre-operation raids, the spokesman recalled, the policemen did not carry enough bullets and would often keep their weapons locked. “Now after the start of operation I see a big change. They always keep their arms’ safety locks on besides carrying extra rounds,” he said.