KARACHI   -  Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah Friday said that strict action would be taken against policemen involved in injuring unarmed people in ‘half fry’ – the term used for injuring the persons in fake encounter— cases.

Replying to a query of the Pakistan People’s Party incarcerated lawmaker Sharjeel Inam Memon during the question hour of Sindh Assembly proceedings, the chief minister said that he would definitely look into the matter and bring the responsible under the law. He was of the view that extrajudicial incidents were not acceptable as the courts were there to punish the criminals.

Murad justified the alleged act of the policemen of injuring the suspects for their defense, however made it clear that such actions against unarmed persons would not be tolerated.

Sharjeel alleged that he had met many prisoners in the jail who were ‘half fried’, saying that the people are picked up and shoot in leg in fake encounters. “This should not have been done as there is proper judicial system in the country,” he added.

Separately, Murad said that the provincial government has taken 23 cash development loans (CDL) amounting to Rs14.3 billion for a period of 25 years, including five years grace period.

The chief minister who also holds the portfolio of Finance and Human Rights responded to the questions asked by the members of provincial assembly in writing.

To a question, the chief minister said that currently there were 23 federal CDLs of Rs14, 132 million as on June 30, 2018. He added that the interest rate varies from 7.42 percent to 17.71 percent per annum for a period of 25 years, including five years grace period.

Replying to a supplementary question, Shah said that the last CDL was taken in 2003-04 and after that no loan has been taken from the federal government. He said that the provincial government did not take loans from the commercial banks. “Yes, the provincial government takes Overdraft (OD) from the State Bank of Pakistan when it falls short of funds,” he said and added the last OD was taken by caretaker government in 2018. He also clarified that there was no outstanding borrowing from State Bank of Pakistan from September 2016 to September 2018.

To another question, the Murad said that everyone has the right to education “Education is free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages.

He added that the Human Rights Department has been working on ‘rights of education’ and has close link with education department to strengthen the mechanism of recruitment system on merit, ensure attendance of the teachers and has launched operation against ghost teachers and extending support on text book curriculum. He said that the education of child rights was being included in the curriculum.

The chief minister said that the Human Rights department through its toll free helpline has received 31 complaints of human rights violation against Sindh police. “20 complaints were received in 2015, eight in 2016, one in 2017 and two in 2018. The public grievances were redressed accordingly.

Talking about human rights violation cases recorded through print media, he said during last four years 4326 cases were registered which include 757 in 2015, 1704 in 2016, 1352 in 2017 and 513 in 2018. He also added that 397 cases were registered through Toll Free helpline Number. Their break up is 109 in 2014, 89 in 2015, 107 in 2016, 30 in 2017 and nine in 2018.

Shah said that during last four years, 2015 to 2018 some 158 complaints of human rights violations were also received and resolved accordingly. “The Human Rights department also addresses different cases of karo-kari, rape, murder, domestic violation and acid throwing,” he said and added he was further strengthening the department to upheld human rights.

Shah disclosed that literature on different tops such as human rights, rights of women, rights of orphans, our rights and responsibilities, zakat, Haqoo-ul-Allah and Hukook-ul-Ebad, Islamic brotherhood, human community and education for women have been distributed among 4806 Pesh Imams for their information and including them in their Friday sermons.