HYDERABAD: There are high value targets (HVTs) within the Hyderabad Central Prison and attempts could be made to get certain inmates freed. This was stated by Hyderabad SSP Irfan Baloch while speaking at a press conference in his office here on Sunday.
The SSP said that jailbreak was feared in view of the recent hanging of convicted terrorists at various prisons in the country. “That’s why, the army has taken over security of prisons, including the Hyderabad Central Prison,” he said.
He said an intensive joint patrolling by the army, Rangers and police personnel had been started. The Rangers were supposed to primarily respond first to an untoward incidents relating to the threat to the prison and inmates, he added.
The SSP said that security in and around the jail had been beefed up and army personnel had taken positions within the prison.
“Round-the-clock patrolling by the joint force and a multiple-layer security have been ensured with police serving in the last cordon on the outer area of the prison and its periphery,” he said.
According to him, a Rangers official has been designated for coordination among all three forces at different levels.
He said that sweep and search operation would be conducted to purge areas of illegal immigrants, especially Afghans, for which a study was being conducted.
“Trends indicate that Mehsud, Swati and Mohmand tribesmen from other parts of the country always stay with their respective community members here”, he said.
The police officer said that he would not make any definite statement about Taliban but like Karachi, Hyderabad was an equally important city which needed an elite police force while the regular police needed sophisticated weapons.
He said that out of 3,500 personnel at the disposal of the Hyderabad range, only 900 were deployed at police stations and the remaining force was engaged personal security of VIPs, judges, courts, banks, doctors, etc. “It is due to this kind of security cover that the larger section of society gets no security,” he said.
The SSP also shared details of what police claimed to be an encounter that left three alleged dacoits dead and one of them appeared to be a suspect remanded in police custody.
He claimed that Mashooq Solangi, who was in remand of the Qasimabad police in a murder case, was killed along with Mohammad Khan Solangi and Karam Chandio in an encounter with police in Darya Baig Mughal village this morning.
He said Mashooq Solangi was arrested for allegedly killing Faizan Rind, the brother of a civil spy agency official posted at Hyderabad. “He was being taken to a place within the jurisdiction of the Hatri police station for the recovery of the weapon of offence when Mohammad Khan Solangi, Karam Chandio and their four armed associates attacked the police team escorting Mashooq Solangi, the SSP said. He said that the attackers tried to get Mashooq Solangi freed.
He said that an encounter ensued during which Mashooq Solangi, Mohammad Khan Solangi and Karam Chandio were killed and their four associates were forced to flee. Two police constables, Abdul Jabbar and Anwar Ali, received pellet injuries, he added.
The SSP said that a rifle and a repeater were seized from the dead attackers.
Meanwhile, family members and other relatives of Mashooq Solangi, contesting the police claim about the encounter, took his body to the SSP’s office and held a protest demonstration against his killing. His brother, Mehar Ali, sister, Ms Rehana and brother-in-law, Mr Aftab demanded a judicial inquiry into the whole affair.