The provincial capital has witnessed a sharp increase in murder cases with more than 150 people killed so far during the ongoing year. The figure has surpassed the highest record of murders in the city during the corresponding period of previous years.
Amid a crackdown on hardened criminals, police officials cite rising violent behavior among the citizens as the major cause of the murders during the past few months.
According to the police record, at least 148 murder cases have been registered in the city since the beginning of the current year, of which 10 were considered by the investigators as ‘blind murders’.
Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Shoaib Khurram Janbaz told The Express Tribune the investigation officials had solved two cases in which no clues about the motive had been found initially. He the police had solved about 60 per cent of the remaining murder cases and submitted charge sheets in 58 of them.
The SSP said the city police had arrested 133 murder suspects during the period.
The most important case currently being investigated by the CIA police was that of the murder of Maira, a Pakistan-born British woman, at her home in the Defence area, in which they had come very close to the killers, the official added.
Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Ghulam Mehmood Dogar conceded that the number of murders in the provincial capital had increased as compared to the past. He said the current wave of crimes had a dominant contributing factor of intolerance among the people. He said murders had been committed over minor matters.
Talking about a recent double murder at a grid station in Allama Iqbal Town, Dogar said the police were informed that Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) employee Amjad had been shot and Ishaq stabbed to death. The police moved the bodies to a morgue and began an investigation.
Iqbal Town Police Station SHO Raza Zakir was informed by a friend of the deceased that Amjad had a quarrel with a colleague named Usman two days earlier. When the police arrested Usman and interrogated him, he stated that Amjad had been recruited in the company along with him. Amjad had been promoted and “he used to tell me to call him ‘Sahib’ because he was my boss”, he added. He said he had killed his colleague over the minor issue. He said watchman Ishaq had seen him committing the murder, so he had stabbed him to death.
In another incident in Islampura a few days ago, a youth, Muhammad Ali, was shot dead in the in outside his house. Police investigation revealed that the victim had forbidden some youths from making noise in the street, on which they had killed him. The victim’s marriage was planned after the Eid.
The CCPO said that in the past, gangsters involved in land grabbing and extortion used to kill and rob people in the city in most cases. He said the police had carried out raids to arrest Gogi Butt, Mansha Bomb, Ilias Gujjar, Faisal Lamba, Tifi Butt and Balaj Tipu who were suspected of terrorising citizens.
He said the police had booked 522 persons in 360 cases of nefarious activities and seized 478 modern weapons from them. He said 275 weapons had been sent for forensic tests to find out about their use in crimes, while cancellation of 152 arms licences had been recommended.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Operations Sajid Kayani said that apart from bullying and frustration, a large number of murders are taken place due to property disputes and on the pretext of honour.
Kayani said all SHOs had been ordered to hold hearings daily to seek reconciliation in property and family disputes that had escalated to a point where there was a risk of violence.
The DIG said the police were also trying to clear the city of illegal weapons.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 18th, 2021.