Although the uniform of the Punjab Police changed, yet the “Thana culture” remained unchanged. A report claims that the police play a crucial role in preserving people’s life and property while upholding peace and order in nations all over the world. Sadly, the colonial system still exists in most of the developing countries where the government of the day openly deploys the police department to suppress their political rivals.
Through constitutional reforms and legislation based on accountability, the Punjab government has made considerable strides to enhance the performance of the police department and eliminate the “Thana culture”. The police department’s performance has shown signs of progress due to these helpful initiatives, yet this performance cannot be considered adequate.
There is still a lot of work to be done, and the unresolved cases of crime listed below dent Chichawatni District Police’s reputation.
First incident: The president of Anjuman-e-Tajiran, Yusuf Jamal Tikka, was killed by some unidentified motorcyclists on the night of March 25, 2021. Yusuf Jamal Tikka died more than 21 months ago, but for reasons unknown, the authorities have been unable to identify and arrest the murderers.
Second incident: On November 22, 2021, after Maghrib prayers, the six-year-old daughter of Mubarak Ali Ansari of Chak No. 110/7 R went out of her house to buy boiled eggs. She has not been seen since then. The child has been missing for the last 13 months. The district and circle police have so far been unable to trace the kidnapped girl despite strong protests from the general public and social circles.
Third incident: A team from the Shahkot Police Station raided a house in Chak No. 21/14L. The raid was conducted in search of a suspect for allegedly possessing firearms illegally. When the police didn’t find the suspect, they took his elderly father, Riaz, with them. Along the way, Riaz, had a heart attack and died before he could be provided with any medical aid.
In contrast, this year’s six police stations in the Chichawatni district -- Saddar, City, Kassowal, Ghaziabad, Shahkot and Okanwala Bangla -- registered 3,524 cases of all types from January 1 to December 31. Only 219 of these cases were dismissed while during the period mentioned, complete challans of 2,042 cases, apart from 92 incomplete challans under Sections 598 and 512, presented before the courts of magistrates. Over 200 cases are still being investigated due to various technical and legal obstacles.
The total number of suspects in these cases was 6,819. However, 1,178 suspects were found innocent due to lack of evidence. Over 70 suspects are on bail while 4,178 suspects have been imprisoned. The authorities at the respective police stations are diligently pursuing 1,384 absconders.
Over 1,000 cases of major crimes, such as murder, are also included in the aforementioned cases reported in Chichawatni. Two-hundred-and-forty-one cases, including nine murder cases, were registered by Saddar Police Station.
The City Police Station registered 198 cases, including one murder case. Over 170 cases were registered by the Kassowal Police Station; 130 cases by Ghaziabad Police Station; 164 by Shahkot Police Station; and 137 by Okanwala Bangla Police Station.
Statistics shows that challans of 89% of the cases registered in Chichawatni were submitted before the appropriate courts on time by the end of the year.
The performance of the police last year was considerably better despite significant shortage of police personnel and transportation at the police stations due to the tremendous pressure of overpopulation.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 4th, 2023.
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