When 50 university students boarded a bus on Monday morning to get to campus, they had no idea they would reach the varsity without their cellphones, money and other valuables.
Male and female students of the Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) were on their way to the university when men with guns hopped on to the bus and robbed them. The robbers held the students hostage at gun point and fled the scene before the police could be contacted.
The incident took place when the bus stopped to pick up the girls from their regular spot within the limits of the Taimuria police station. According to the students, around three to four unfamiliar men dressed in trousers and formal shirts got onto the bus when the girls were boarding. Students claim that the robbers looked like they were in a hurry and took five to 10 minutes to snatch everything.
“A man forced his way inside the vehicle as soon as the girls boarded the bus,” said Omar Khan, a student. “The conductor was about to close the door but he jumped in.” He added that the robber pulled out his gun immediately and held them hostage.
The bus driver, according to Khan, was not allowed to drive till the robbery was complete and they had left the vehicle.
While talking to The Express Tribune, DUHS Pro Vice-Chancellor Dr Muhammad Umer Farooq said that the university will take stricter security measures as it looked like the law enforcers had shut their eyes. “The police told us that this was the fifth time this week a robbery had taken place in the area,” he said. “They suspect it is the same gang but have been unable to make any arrests.” He added that as a precaution, they will keep a security guard on every university bus.
This is not the first time such an incident has taken place. The last incident took place in October 2013, when unidentified men robbed a bus full of NED University students near Nadira Chowk in Nazimabad No. 1. The bus driver had stopped the vehicle to pick up two students. More than 60 students were robbed of their wallets and other valuables.
A month before that, 50 Karachi University students were robbed near the Banaras Flyover. Then, a few weeks later, on September 28 women on a bus going to Jinnah Univerity for Women were robbed on main University Road.
The police, so far, have been unable to trace and arrest the culprits. They claim that investigations have been initiated into the cases and they were trying hard to find who was responsible.
“Around 40 students – men and women, were robbed on the bus,” said District Central SSP Noman Siddiqui while talking to The Express Tribune. “The police will have a lead soon and the culprits will be arrested.”
Police officials said that one of the things they will try to do is to get sketches made with the help of witnesses. They added that they were waiting for the students to file a complaint. No case had been registered till the filing of this report.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 9th, 2014.