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Lahore: Upsurge in crime after police reshuffle

STREET crime has surged tremendously after reshuffling of top officers of Lahore police since the beginning of the Governor’s Rule.

During the last two weeks, robbers looted 455 citizens, killed two and injured 24 others on resistance.

The top brass of Lahore police played an important role in tarnishing the image of local police across the world when it failed to implement the security plan devised for Sri Lankan team. This lapse resulted in the death of seven people, including six policemen and injuries to several others. The story of law and order deteriorating in the provincial metropolis does not end here as Investigation Wing of Lahore Police, Investigation Wing of Punjab Police and a special team constituted to probe the Liberty Attack had badly failed to make any breakthrough in the investigation.

A senior member of the Investigation Team Addl IG CID has been transferred prior to any final investigation report on Liberty attack. The officer was also blamed for not conveying the security risk to the newly-appointed police top brass. Several claims have been made by Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, IGP Khawja Khalid Farooq and CCPO Haji Habib-ur-Rehman regarding investigation and clues to terrorists’ identity but nothing concrete has come out of the probe yet. Governor Salman Taseer and IGP Khalid Farooq announced that the investigation report would be brought to the media within three days but not a single lead had been made public so far which speaks volumes for the inept investigation process.

The gory drama of terrorists continued for more than 25 minutes but no back up arrived on the scene of the crime and attackers managed to flee.

A senior police officer connected to the Liberty terror probe told The News that it was too early to establish the identity of the hidden hands behind the attack on Sri Lankan team. He said that not a single main accused of ambush could be arrested so far.

It has become a tradition in Pakistan that once a political party completes the process of posting its team in each department especially police and officials start planning how to deal with crimes and criminals, another political party topples the incumbent government and starts its own process of posting officials. This leads to Liberty ambush like incidents.

Meanwhile, during the last two weeks, robbers found Lahore a safe heaven for committing as many street robberies as they wanted because protectors of law and order were engaged in transfers and postings. Around 455 citizens were deprived of cash, gold ornaments, cell phones, valuables, cars and motorcycles worth millions of rupees during the last two weeks in six divisions of Lahore Police. At least 73 motorcycles and 47 cars were lifted or snatched from Lahorites. During dacoity attempts, two citizens lost their lives on resisting robbers and 24 sustained bullet injuries in the provincial metropolis.

City Police division has topped the other five division in street crime and house robberies as around 121 citizens were deprived of cash, valuables, gold ornaments, cell phones, cars and motorcycles during the last two weeks in its jurisdiction. At least 30 motorcycles and six cars were stolen or lifted in City Division. Seven people were injured on resistance in City police division.

Shahdra and Shahdra Town police limits were seen as free zones for dacoits and robbers as most of the incidents occurred in the jurisdictions of these two police stations. Police officials were seen thrashing gamblers on roads instead of arresting dacoits and robbers.

Cantt police division was second with 84 reported incidents of street crime and house robberies. At least nine motorcycles and 13 cars were lifted or stolen from Cantt division. Robbers injured four citizens on resistance.

Sadr division was third with 83 reported incidents of street crime. At least eight motorcycles and nine cars were also lifted or stolen from Sadar Division. Two persons were killed and five injured in Sadar division during the last two weeks. A mobile shop owner was killed in Raiwind while an auto mechanic was killed in Green Town.

Iqbal Town division was fourth with 63 reported incidents of street crime and house robberies. Seven motorcycles and five cars were also stolen or lifted in the division. Three residents of Iqbal Town division were injured during robbery attempts. Model Town division was fifth as 59 citizens were deprived of cash, gold ornaments and valuables worth lakhs of rupees. At least seven motorcycles and 10 cars were stolen or lifted and two people were injured during robbery attempts.

At least 45 reported crimes were registered in Civil Lines division. At least 12 motorcycles and four cars were stolen or snatched and three people were injured on resistance during robbery bids.

Street crime is on the rise in the provincial metropolis as SPs of six police divisions, SSP and CCPO Lahore had been transferred and the newly-appointed officials have become caught up in the political chaos in the province.

Source: The News

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