People insecure as robberies increase in Hafizabad
HAFIZABAD: People are feeling insecure due to a sharp increase in robberies during the past few months, while the police seem to be helpless before criminals in the district.
The Rs 100 million dacoity in a jewellery shop at Main Bazaar about 12 days ago exposed the inefficiency of the police. It is the biggest dacoity in the district that had occurred a few yards away from the City police station. Citizens and traders strongly protested against the dacoity, observed a complete shutdown, blocked roads and staged a sit-in. However, the police could not trace the culprits and as a result, the crime is increasing day by day.
A few weeks ago, dacoits entered the house of Sub-Inspector Muhammad Azam at Mohallah Bahawalpur, severely tortured him and took away 25 tolas of gold ornaments. The police failed to arrest the dacoits in this case. Similarly, armed dacoits looted 60 tolas of gold ornaments and Rs 200,000 from the house of Allah Ditta at Chahni Qasim village after torturing the family. The police failed to arrest the dacoits. When Allah Ditta informed the police about the incident, the dacoits again visited the house after three days and opened indiscriminate fire at the family.
As a result, Allah Ditta’s daughter died and two daughters were injured. Unknown bandits entered the house of Ahmad at Gala Haji Miraj Din and decamped with 39 tolas of gold ornaments and cash. However, the police remained clueless in tracing the accused. In addition, hundreds of dacoities, robberies and thefts occurred but police could not trace the culprits. Citizens staged demonstrations and blocked road against the police at Hafizabad, Sukheke, Kaleke, Jalalpur Bhattian and Pindi Bhattian.
During the visit of Gujranwala RPO a few weeks ago, PML-N MNA Saira Afzal Tarar expressed her concern over the increasing dacoities and other crime. Awami Mahaz president Rana Khalid Mehmood and dozens of other organisations informed the chief minister about the worsening law and order, but no concrete step could be taken to eradicate the crime.
Former DPO Dr Tariq Chohan took bold steps to eradicate the crime and suspended several police officials, including DSPs and SHOs. As a result, several gangsters, drug pushers and bootleggers were arrested. Under pressure from politicians, DPO Dr Tariq Chohan was transferred on corruption charges. After his departure from the district, the corrupt officers and SHOs managed their return to the district and subsequently the crime increased.
Citizens told The News that the entire district was at the mercy of robbers and thieves. They alleged that youths were being allured by the criminals and some police officials were backing the anti-social elements. They said that the police had caught Ali Akbar, a constable, red-handed while selling liquor and recovered 24 bottles from him.
They added that cattle theft incidents had also increased during past few months in the district and rustlers had also killed villagers on resistance. They said that the police patrolling was not proper and the Chowkidara system had become weak, which was resulting in an increase in the crime rate.
When contacted, DPO Abdul Rab said that special teams had been formed to trace the culprits of the Rs 100 million robbery. He added that the ‘chowkidari’ system and patrolling were being improved to curb crimes.