Lahore: 38pc surge in dacoities exposes police
LAHORE: Official statistics reveal 38 per cent surge in dacoities in the first half of the year, exposing the claims of Capital City Police bigwigs to have reined in robbers. According to the available data, 132 dacoities were reported in the past six months while the first six months of the previous year witnessed 95 such crimes. Forty–seven dacoities took place in Saddar Police Division, 24 in Model Town, 23 in Cantonment, 21 in City, 12 in Iqbal Town and five in Civil Lines. Dozens of people lost their lives and scores sustained wounds in holdups besides the loss of millions of rupees. In most of these cases, the outlaws used handguns and knives.
Similarly, the figures show 22 per cent increase in house robberies. According to the data, 2,175 robberies were committed in the first half of this year; while 1,690 robberies were reported in the first six months of the previous year. Model Town Division topped with 491 robberies, followed by Saddar Division with 477 robberies.
A senior police officer said on condition of anonymity that the appointment of ‘powerful’ SHOs was the reason for the increase in crime. According to him, most of the SHOs got involved in felonies (murder, rape, dacoities, etc) but no action could be initiated against them because of their influence.
He cited the example of Masti Gate SHO who was a nominated in a murder case but no action had been taken against him.
“The Citizen Feedback Cell has recommended departmental action against Inspector Sharif Sindhu and several others over different charges, but to no avail. These corrupt police officers are notorious for patronising hardcore gangsters,” he added.
Moreover, such SHOs have been upholding the Thana culture, forcing the victims to exclude relevant sections (395 of PPC) from their reports, so that the case could be converted into a simple robbery.
Reportedly, SHO Islampura Basher Niazi did the same and lodged an FIR (842/12) of robbery by moulding the factual position of an armed dacoity at a medical clinic.
The former Lahore CCPO said the gangsters had changed their strategy of strikes. Answering a query, he said the two strategies – aggressive and soft policing – provoke the gangsters to commit heinous crimes. “Adopting an aggressive approach, the police launch fake shootouts, which prove fruitful only in the short term; while soft policing gives a freehand to the outlaws,” he said.
“The provincial capital has currently become a hub of armed dacoities, reflecting criminal negligence on the part of police. Dacoits go on rampage while police keep on dragging their feet over the matter.” Despite repeated attempts, SSP Shariq Kamal Siddique could not be reached for comments.