ISLAMABAD: Policemen stationed at check-posts on the exit points of the capital have been accused of forcefully collecting Eidi (money given out during Eid felicitations) from commuters. Long queues of vehicles could be seen at the Islamabad Toll Plaza, Benazir Bhutto Roundabout, Golra Check-post and Murree Road, where the police personnel had stopped the traffic at will.
People were leaving for their native cities and villages to celebrate Eid, while being harassed for Eidi in return for letting the vehicles pass through the picket.
Two residents of Meera Jaffer in Islamabad were leaving for Karachi when their taxi was stopped at the Benazir Bhutto Roundabout. Police personnel stationed at the check-post demanded Rs500 per passenger from the taxi. “When I asked why should I give so much Eidi, the policemen replied, ‘because otherwise you will have to spend your Eid with us.’”
In another incident, police had a quarrel with a person after he failed to give them Rs1000 for Eidi. Later on, they let him go when he arranged Rs735 for them.
Gul Mohammed, Najeeb, Bakht Khan, Naveed and Hameed along with other people told The Express Tribune on Friday that police were on a drive to rob commuters out of their money. There was no senior official present on the occasion to put an end to the practice. “There is no stopping them and no one to complain to,” said Hameed.
Furthermore, Naveed said that the in-charge of such check-posts were themselves involved in these malpractices and received a share of the money collected from the commuters.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 11th, 2010.