Robbers run amok in ‘safe city’

73 snatching and theft incidents reported in five days in ICT


Iftikhar Chaudhry May 16, 2021
PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD:

Despite rigid security measures and coverage through safe city cameras, there were 73 snatchings and theft incidents including four armed robberies that took place in Islamabad during the past five days. However, with more than 1,600 safe city cameras covering almost the entire federal capital territory, the police have remained unable to trace the suspects.

The comprehensive security plan, patrolling and police pickets in almost every sector could not stop muggers from looting citizens of Islamabad from Monday to Saturday. Citizens reported 73 robbery and four firing incidents in the federal capital during the last five days. No criminal involved in any of the incidents have been arrested, sources said.

Sources in the police department told The Express Tribune most of the mugging and robbery incidents occurred in the precincts of Golra, Ramna, Karachi Company, I-Nine, Sabzi Mandi, Koral, and Shalimar police stations.

The police of the jurisdiction where the crimes occurred have not been able to arrest the culprits despite the passage of safe city cameras. The sources added that during the five Eid holidays, the suspects broke the locks of dozens of houses and stole valuables including gold, jewellery, household items, and cellphones worth millions of rupees. In other theft incidents, the robbers stole motorcycles and cars parked outside houses or different locations.

The robbers also injured some of the citizens who tried to resist criminals in the remit of Ramna, I-9, Karachi Company and Khanna police stations.

An official who declined to be identified, said the police of the respective jurisdictions where the crimes have occurred, have been reluctant in registering first information reports (FIRs) of the incidents despite complaints. He said these officials did not want to spoil their record by showing the spike in crime statistics in their area. He added that probably the police will delay the registration of FIRs until the first week of June as the duty officers have all related information of the incidents available with them.

Sources further said in these five days, the highest incidents took place in Saddar Zone in which Ramna Police Station, Karachi Company, Tarnol, Golra, Shams Colony, and Noon Police Station remained on top in terms of crimes.

In Islamabad’s Rural Zone, Koral Police Station was top of the list in the crime incidents followed by Khanna police station, Sihala on third, and Lohi Bher on fourth.

Overall, during the last five days, Ramna police station was the first, Karachi Company second, Koral third, and Golra at fourth where crime swelled amid Eid holidays. The police have registered only six cases while only reports have been filed in the rest of the cases.

Sources said most incidents of street crimes happened in the precincts of different police stations including Ramna, Karachi Company, Shalimar, Sabzi Mandi, Noon, Shams Colony, Khanna, Koral, I-9, and Tarnol. The street criminals deprived motorcyclists and families in cars of cash, jewellery, and cellphones on gunpoint.

The police stations have completed reports of all incidents and are in a position to provide high officials with details should they choose to make inquiries. However, it expected, the lower staff will shelve most of the cases to avoid facing action from Islamabad IG and Operations DIG.

A senior police official of Islamabad police, requesting anonymity, confirmed to The Express Tribune that crime incidents had taken place during the last five days. He said the mishaps occurred due to desolation in the city and the lockdown. He also admitted that the surge in crime rate in a short period had broken all previous records. The police officials termed the poor law and order situation as alarming for Islamabad.

Meanwhile, around 3,000 small and large prayer Eidul Fitr congregations were held in Rawalpindi amid tight security and SOPs protocol.

All prayer sites were heavily guarded by more than 2,000 police personnel while walk-through gates were set up at the entrance of all prayer sites.

The police elite commandoes were deployed at entry and exit points of the city.

Like other parts of the country, Eid prayers were offered in Rawalpindi under coronavirus Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and all queues were set up according to it by the worshippers.

The people were not allowed to enter without face masks.

Larger gatherings were held at Liaquat Bagh, Eidgah Sharif, Government Gordon College, Government Degree College Satellite Town, Liaquat Bagh Sports Complex, Jamia Islamia, and Markazi Jamia Masjid. Parliamentary Secretary for Narcotics Sheikh Rashid Shafique and former PML-N MNA Malik Shakeel Awan offered Eid prayers at Liaquat Bagh.

Similarly, Rawalpindi Senior police officials of Rawapindi police including Regional Police Officer (RPO) Imran Ahmar, City Police Officer (CPO) Muhammad Ahsan Younus, and other police high-ups offered Eidul-Fitr prayers in the Jamia Masjid at Rawalpindi Police Lines.

Operations SSP Shoaib Mahmood, Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) Rai Mazhar Iqbal were also among the worshippers.

After prayers, RPO Rawalpindi Imran Ahmar and CPO Rawalpindi Muhammad Ahsan Younus met and mingled with police personnel.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 16th, 2021.

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