Police take six weeks to register bike theft case

Victim decries callous police attitude, refusal to lodge cases

Arsalan Altaf June 09, 2017
Victim decries callous police attitude, refusal to lodge cases. PHOTO: INP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: A man whose motorbike had been stolen in April this year has complained about the slow and inefficient police response, claiming that it took more than six weeks just to register a report of the theft.

Malik Azmat Hayat, the prayer leader of a mosque in Rawalpindi, was visiting the weekly Sunday bazaar in Sector G-6 on April 16. He had parked his new Honda 125cc motorbike in the designated parking of the market. When he returned, he discovered that his motorbike had been stolen.

Hayat approached police officials deputed at the market. He subsequently visited the nearby Aabpara police station to lodge a complaint.

“The moharar at the police station wrote down details about me and my motorbike in a diary and then gave me the number of another policeman who was a security in-charge for the market,” Hayat told The Express Tribune.

The prayer leader returned to the market in search of the policeman. The two searched the parking lot for the missing motorbike. An announcement was also made from the police radio. The police then told Hayat to return home and that he would be informed about any progress which they make.

“I returned home expecting that the police would call me as soon as they recover the bike. I waited for a few days but no call came,” he said, adding, “Then somebody told me to lodge a written complaint with the police and obtain their signature on it, otherwise they would never register a case.”

Hayat visited the police station again with a written complaint on April 22. But he was left stunned when the officials there refused to accept his application. “They refused to take my application noting that the duty officer was not at the station at the time.”

Being a prayer leader, he contacted some influential acquaintances after which the police finally agreed to receive his complaint.

“They received my complaint and told me that I would be informed when an FIR is registered.”

A few days later when the complainant inquired whether a case had been registered, officials at the station told him that they had misplaced his application and that he should lodge a fresh complaint.

Hayat went back to the station, armed with a fresh complaint, on May 9. However, officials there again tried to delay the matter.

“First, they kept sending me from one official to another, they also asked me to alter the application since they wanted me to write in the application that this was the first time I was visiting the police station to report the theft of my motorbike while desisting from mentioning the earlier complaints,” Hayat said, decrying the callous attitude of officials.

The FIR was finally lodged on June 3, more than six weeks after the theft was first reported to the police.

“Had they registered a case on time and started investigation, there would have been greater chances of recovering my stolen bike … and it’s not only about my bike, people go through such ordeal daily. The police should really improve their working,” Hayat complained.

Meanwhile, SI Mehar Muhammad Aslam, the investigation officer of the case, denied Hayat’s allegations that police did not entertain the complaint on time.

When asked why it took them a further 25 days to register FIR after receiving a fresh complaint, he said the authority to register a case or not rests with the SHO and not him.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 9th, 2017.


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