LAHORE: Two traffic wardens in Lahore helped rescue an abducted child on Monday, a press statement said.
Wardens Younas and Ashfaq were standing on an intersection on Ferozepur Road when they saw a child, who was with a motorcyclist, crying for help.
“They signalled the motorcyclist to stop. However, he pulled out a handgun. The child jumped off and ran towards them. The gunman fled,” it said. The child later said he was a resident of Dallu Kalan on Rohi drain.
Cases of child abduction in Punjab have seen an increased frequency in recent months with an estimated number of 767 kidnapping cases reported mostly from Lahore, Faisalabad, Bahawalpur, and Bahawalnagar.
The number of unreported cases, however, is believed to be much higher as families of the victims tend to avoid taking help from law enforcement agencies.
Earlier this month, police claimed to have recovered as many as 26 children who had gone missing from their homes in the provincial capital. The children were recovered during a city-wide search operation involving raids at different city hotels, seminaries, factories and workshops.
The alarming upsurge in the cases of child kidnappings have resulted in the increased frustration of the people who have, in several instances, resorted to taking law into their hands by severely beating the suspected kidnappers.
Last week, a suspected kidnapper was caught and thrashed by a mob in the Ghaziabad neighbourhood of the city. The angry people claimed that the suspect, who was accompanied by a woman, was trying to kidnap a child from Dhobi Ghaat Daroghawala.
However, this was not the first incident of vigilante justice, in which people took law into their hands on suspicion of kidnapping. On the night of July 30, traffic wardens and Dolphin officials tortured a driver of Edhi ambulance on suspicion of kidnapping. The driver was transporting 12 children recovered during search operation of the police to Edhi Home Gulberg.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2016.