KARACHI - With festive spirit soaring to all high, the fear of violence also lurks around the city as the surgical drive by law enforcement agencies against criminal elements has been rendered sterile. The citizens are mindful of the dangers that often result from violence in the business hub city. Such a situation demands presence of security personnel be stepped up in all city neighbourhoods. The Sindh Home Department has, in a bid to head off an unwanted happening, banned 31 defunct organisations, including Lyari Amman Committee. A question arises here whether it would be enough. Starting from August 24, the cosmetic operation by the Sindh Rangers, police and Frontier Constabulary has failed to wipe out criminal elements from the port city. Police officials say that at least a thousand hardened criminals affiliated with different political and religious groups have been apprehended in the drive by now. But the results are no more than five per cent. The officials, who wished not to be named, say that criminal mafia is smarter than the three of our forces combined. They do not stay at one place and keep on changing their hideouts, the officials add. Another official says that influential persons of political parities get their important workers freed whenever they are nabbed. The arrest of some Lyari gangsters and their consequent release is an example to this effect, says the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to talk to mediapersons. It may be mentioned here that Uzair Baloch and Zafar Baloch of the Lyari Aman Committee were released as soon as the high-ups intervened. The official says that notorious terrorists of the aman committee said to be hiding in Balochistan are still roaming freely in the city. Although the Sindh government has chalked out a comprehensive security strategy, areas of Saddar Town, Orangi Town, Banaras, Korangi and Landhi remain tense because of the existence of criminal groups there. The provincial Home Department has also put a ban on camps for hide collection and use of loudspeakers. Special branches of police stations across the city held several meetings with political and religious parties to evolve a contingency plane to avert any dispute. Arrangements have also been put in place to keep a check on street crimes. In case of any untoward happening in an area, the concerned station house officer (SHO) would be held responsible. Home Minister Manzoor Wassan has ordered to step up security across the city.