Pindi: where crime rules the streets
PINDI: Some security experts are calling 2011 as the “year of crimes”. The past year indeed has been eventful and shocking, not only for the frequency of crime but the nature as well.
As the year rolled to an end, the city police witnessed one of their deadliest days. On December 29, the city police lost a sub-inspector, a victim of kidnapping, and two kidnappers in a recovery operation. While the hunt for two other kidnappers at large remains, criticism is slowly emerging on the way the operation was conducted.
Questions are being asked as to why was the operation being carried out at night-time when the visibility was obviously low, and especially since the gang in question was on the police`s most wanted list for its involvement in kidnappings for ransom and had been tailed for a long while.
The CPO has been insisting that he is “satisfied” over the encounter and police strategy as he believes that had it been done in daylight, neighbours and passers-by would have been injured or killed in the crossfire.
But security experts have by and large termed the operation a “botched” one and say that the police should only claim credit for a `successful` operation if they had managed to recover the kidnapped man alive and arrested the culprits.
In this case, both the victim and police official were killed in addition to two of the kidnappers while their remaining accomplices managed to escape.
Some security experts are calling 2011 as the “year of crimes”. The past year indeed has been eventful and shocking, not only for the frequency of crime but the nature as well.
By and large, it is believed that the police performance was at best abysmal.
Not special actions were taken to counter the increasing trend in homicide or look into concerns about increasing trend in the street crimes.
Critics of police performance say that the rampant increase in crime was a culmination of the political interference in the appointment of police officers and links of some of the police officials with criminal elements. In fact 30 cases were registered against police officers.
Indeed, the year-end data released by the police show no different: while there was a slight decrease in auto-theft and burglaries compared to the statistics in 2010, the police were unable to recover stolen good.
Similarly, there were sharp and worrying spike in narcotics and illegal possession of arms.
Murders were committed with impunity, and some truly left the whole country aghast.
Take for instance the murder of under-trial prisoners and a passer-by in the district court premises, the killing of six people in a shootout between the police and gang of kidnappers in Taxila, and the killing of two passengers on a bus by Anti-Narcotics Force men.
The most heart-wrenching murders were of a terror victim`s widow in a house robbery on Dec 20 in Westridge area, and that of a young girl who waited for her mother in her car on the Holy Family Hospital when she was hit by a stray bullet.
In addition to crime, law and order was also affected as the public came out of their homes to protest against acute and severe shortages of gas and electricity.
While three new police stations are being established in the city City Police Officer Azhar Hameed Khokhar said that they would be functional on January 1 concerns of the citizens will not be allayed this easily. In fact, critics say that the new police station would more likely to prove “dens of corruption” and would be unproductive for the victims of street crime.
While their fears are not unfounded, the police have a tough task ahead to reaffirm their image as the safe guards of the city. Here`s to hoping the next year bodes for the residents of Rawalpindi!