LAHORE: While most robbery cases in Lahore are ignored and go unnoticed, the outburst on electronic, print and social media against a recent incident caught on video has forced the chief minister to order the law enforcement agencies to arrest the suspects within 72 hours.
Lahore police and government high-ups have finally woken up from their deep slumber after the viral video showing street criminals robbing citizens on a traffic signal.
Robbers shoot defiant victim
The recent murder of four people in a botched robbery and now the video footage of robbers openly looting citizens on a main road has shaken the authorities but there has been no progress in arresting the culprits.
At a high-level meeting on law and order, Shahbaz Sharif expressed concern over the incidents. “It is disappointing to see that despite the provision of modern equipment, training and funds, law and order has been compromised. Where was the Dolphin Force when all these incidents took place?” the CM was quoted as saying by an insider.
“I am responsible for maintaining law and order in Punjab and I will use all resources to ensure citizens’ safety,” Shahbaz said. “I will not tolerate such incidents in the future. Police will have to meet the public expectations.”
Umar Jahangir, the man who was robbed in Garden Town, told The Express Tribune that he was taking his mother to his relatives in Faisal Town when the robbery incident caught on video took place.
Around 8:20am Monday morning, an armed man knocked on the side window of his car when he had stopped at the traffic light near Major Shoaib Shaheed Chowk. The robber pointed him to lower the glass as two more men reached by the side of his mother’s window. One of the bandits broke the pane with his gun when the woman did not lower down the window while the other man fired in the air.
“My mother started crying, terrified by the robbers’ actions. The thought that they might hurt my mom was frightening for me as well,” Umar recalls.
The robbers only took away the gold jewellery from his mother. “My mobile and wallet was lying by the windscreen. My mom also gave her purse to them but they did not take it,” he said. “They just asked for the gold.”
Umar says his mother was wearing a scarf as well as a chador. “I cannot comprehend how they came to know about the gold jewellery and nothing else,” he says.
Fatal Attack: Security guard shot by robbers dies
Police have registered an FIR (979/16) against unidentified suspects while forensic experts have visited Umar’s house near Mehmood Kasuri Road and collected fingerprints from his vehicle.
On November 19, a father and his son were among four people shot dead in a firing incident in Millat Park during a robbery. Iqbal Town SP Investigations Shaista Nadeem said police took some suspects into custody and were investigating the case but no significant leads were available.
Lahore CCPO Amin Wains has announced a cash prize of Rs1 million for anyone who provides information leading to the arrest of the suspects involved in the incident.
Another half a million rupees are on offer for information on suspects involved in the robbery in Garden Town.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 23rd, 2016.
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