Islamabad: Over 100 beggars picked in police swoop
ISLAMABAD: The City Zone police, comprising Aabpara, Kohsar, Bhara Kahu and Secretariat, arrested over 100 beggars during a crackdown on Thursday.
The operation against professional alms seekers was conducted in and around worship places, commercial centres, Super Market, Jinnah Super, Sitara Market, Aabpara, Kohsar and Bhara Kahu.
Later, child beggars were shifted to the children protection centre at I-8 and the women were taken to the women police station. The male alms seekers were shifted to the police stations concerned.
All the arrested persons will be produced in the court of a magistrate from where the women will be released on bail while the male beggars will either be sent to jail or fined.
The police said majority of the beggars hailed from southern Punjab, including Lodhran, while others were from Rawalpindi and adjacent cities.
About 10 alms seekers were transvestites. “We have been suffering a lot of problems in earning our livelihood and forced to beg,” one of the transvestites told the police.
The children said they were brought to the capital city by different groups from their native towns for begging. They said the groups had paid some amount to their parents for a month with a promise that they would be brought back to their hometowns after Eid.
They said they were staying in the outskirts of the capital, including Tarnol, Golra and Bhara Kahu, and transported to the market in the morning. After Iftar, they were picked and taken away, they added.
Earlier, SSP Islamabad Tahir Alam Khan issued show-cause notices to 11 station house officers (SHOs) on their failure to counter begging during Ramazan.
The show-cause notices were issued after the SHOs of Aabpara, Kohsar, Secretariat, Bhara Kahu, Shahzad Town, Kural, Industrial Area, Sabzi Mandi, Margalla, Tarnol and Golra failed to take action against professional beggars operating in their respective areas.
During a meeting on Wednesday, the SHOs were asked to come up with a plan to counter the menace in their jurisdictions.
During a meeting chaired by the SSP to review the police performance, the SHOs were directed to start an active campaign against professional beggars and ensure their arrest.
He directed them to activate the Mujahid Squad, the police unit that was exclusively constituted to counter professional beggars. The SSP said personnel of the squad should be assigned duties at markets, traffic signals and other places to arrest the professional alms seekers.