Outlaws inhabiting riverian areas of Sindh and Rajanpur (Punjab) on both sides of banks of River Indus have been active for the last several years. They have safe havens in Kucha area, which has wild forest growth that serves as natural obstacle rendering the area inaccessible for the law enforcement agencies. In April last year, a band of outlaws led by ringleader Ghulam Rasool alias Chotu Mazari took hostage a number of policemen in Kacha Jamal area of Rajanpur. Local police tried to secure the release of their colleagues which led to armed encounter and killing of a few policemen. Situation worsened and Army personnel were called in to launch operation. This led to the release of the kidnapped police officials, and arrest of Chotu along with few of his accomplices. This time again the members of Ataullah Pat, the remnants of Chotu gang, abducted seven police officials including one Assistant Sub-Inspector on August 19. Policemen were overpowered while they were patrolling in a boat. Two days later, police claimed to have secured the release of the abducted policemen but no details were shared with media as to how their release was made possible. It is suspected that the kidnapped policemen were set free under a deal. This is not the first time that outlaws were able to abduct policemen. In March 2015, seven policemen were kidnapped from a check post in Machka area of Rahimyar Khan. The confluence area of three provinces Sindh-Punjab-Balochistan towards Guddu and adjoining area remains infested with criminals. Previously, SultuShar had been the ringleader of a gang of bandits. Operations jointly launched by Ghotki, Kashmore and Rahimyar Khan police could not dislodge him but after surrender of Chotoo, he reportedly also handed himself over to the LEAs. In March 2011, Sultu’s gang had killed Sub-inspector Hanif Mangrio, SHO police station Ranuti of Ubawro Tehsil of district Ghotki. A number of times Punjab police from Kot Sabzal area while on hot pursuit against bandits, faced stiff resistance in Ubawro area. An SHO of Punjab police was killed in the exchange of fire with the outlaws in Ghotki a few years ago. Similarly, Nazroo Narejo, a dreaded bandit, had lived for a long time in Kucha area striding Khairpur and Shikarpur districts. In July 2015, the aged and ailing Nazroo with two of his accomplices was killed in armed encounter with police when he was out of his den to consult some physician. Bandit Mir Shaikh had also not been a less source of menace in districts Ghotki, Kashmore and Sukkur. Over twenty people of Sindh Wildlife Department were kidnapped by his gang while the employees were working in a wildlife sanctuary close to River Indus in Ghotki. He eluded LEAs hunt for a long time but was subsequently killed in encounter with police. Tribal feuds and enmity in both Baloch and Sindhi tribes are common. Most of the offenders shift to inaccessible Kucha area and take refuge there. It is mainly here they take to banditry and other criminal activities No different is the landscape of riverian area in districts Dadu, Jamshoro and Matiari. Tribal feuds and enmity in both Baloch and Sindhi tribes are common. Most of the offenders shift to inaccessible Kucha area and take refuge there. It is mainly here they take to banditry and other criminal activities. Every member of banditry gang has his own story compelling him to take to dacoit’s way of life. Absence of literacy culture, spoiler’s role of area landlord, poor administrative justice and response to the grievances of common man, intransigent attitude of people and multiple other factors are worsening the situation. Easy access to weaponry further adds to this malaise. Making Kucha area as a place of safe refuge was first time noticed during 80s when Movement for Restoration of Democracy was in full swing and the individuals would slip to riverian area to avoid police hunt. This was the time when Afghan Jihad was going on. It is mainly the administrative delinquency making people to go deviant. Both lack of enforcement of law and its selective application generate demoralisation and sense of alienation in people. One aspect of French sociologist Emile Durkheim’s ‘anomie’ perhaps fits here: Individual being under the spell of alienation stumbles into criminal activity. There could be multiple reasons for birth of the ‘alienation’ in people but it generally occurs when the society, law of land and administrative mechanism does not rise to help the individual. Thus descent into despondency breeding perversion becomes inevitable. Police action and judicial punitive pronouncements are the measures to correct the deviant behaviour already occurred but vibrant social justice, economic prosperity and provision of equal opportunities keep a human society healthy. A socio-economic system skewed in favour of one social segment leaves others high and dry. Writer is freelance contributor. He blogs at https://malibaloch.wordpress.com/ and can be reached on twitter @M_Abaloch Published in Daily Times, August 25th 2017.