Unsafe houses

January 16, 2022

The recent looting of three houses in a row, by robbers in Bahria Town, shows that the people are not only unsafe in public spaces but also within their own houses

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Bahria Town was recently witness to three robberies close together. — Photo by Rahat Dar

Contrary to the tall claims made by police high-ups about a significant decline in street crime in Lahore, the data of registered crime shows an unfortunate trend. There’s been a surge in crime against life and property, especially in recent days.

Interestingly, some of the Lahore Police bosses attribute this to their policy of “free registration of cases.” However, independent experts say massive inflation and rising poverty that has rendered people unemployed and made it difficult for them to make both ends meet may be a factor in it.

Frequent and premature transfers and postings in the top ranks of the Lahore Police, particularly the reshuffle of the head of the operations wing, are also said to be one of the major causes for the high crime rate.

The recent looting of three houses in a row, by dacoits in the Sundar police precinct, suggests that the people have not only been rendered unsafe on the streets but they have also become an easy prey for the robbers in their own houses.

In a shocking incident last week, a gang of five armed men barged into three adjacent houses in Bahria Town and deprived the inmates of cash and valuables, including jewellery worth millions of rupees. Neither the police nor the Bahria Town Security (BTS) could help them, despite the fact that they both appeared to have enough opportunity to catch the culprits.

According to Arsalan, the owner of one of the houses, the ceremony of his brother’s wedding was going on in two adjacent houses in Iris Block of Bahria Town, when five unidentified men carrying sophisticated weapons entered their house and held up his family. The suspects also entered two other houses in the neighbourhood. tied up the inmates and snatched cash, jewellery and other items. Some of the guests, who were staying on the second floor of the one of the houses, did not open the doors and called the police and BTS. However, the police and BTS, instead of extending them any help, started levelling allegations against each other, says Arsalan, adding that the police asserted that it was the responsibility of BTS to provide security to the residents.

As per statistics, as many as 133,222 cases were registered in the 84 police stations of the provincial capital in the year 2020. The number reached 203,452 in 2021. The police have clearly failed to check crime, especially robbery.

Bahria Town Security. – Image: Web


As per statistics, as many as 133,222 cases were registered in the 84 police stations of the provincial capital in the year 2020. The number reached 203,452 in 2021. The police have clearly failed to check crime, especially robbery.

Cases of theft have also registered an upward swing — from 92 in 2020 to 199 in 2021. Nineteen cars were reportedly snatched in 2020 while 20 such cases took place in 2021. The division-wise data shows the city, Saddar and Cantt areas on the top of the crime chart.

When approached, the Lahore DIG Investigations Shahzada Sultan admitted that street crime in Lahore had increased manifold in recent days. However, he was of the view that only a combination of “detective and preventive strategy could stem the tide.”

The DIG said that there were a number of factors that added to the surge in crime wave in Lahore, and hence a new preventive policy was the need of the hour.

As regards the performance of the Investigations wing of the Lahore Police, the DIG Investigations said that the department had been quite successful in resolving major cases of heinous crime that took place in Lahore, and had arrested the offenders involved.

The anti-car lifting wing, in particular, seems to have made a significant breakthrough in recovering stolen and snatched vehicles. The wing has made a record recovery of as many as 1,363 vehicles in a month. Moreover, the Investigations Wing has made a recovery of over one billion rupees.

“Our detection rate is over 90 percent,” says the DIG. “However, it’s a time-taking and labourious task.” He goes on to say that the culprits involved in the Bahria Town and Sundar cases didn’t have a clear target in their mind. “Usually, they strike at 2-3 places at a time. They appear all of a sudden and rob two or three persons in quick succession who happen to come in their way.

“Such criminals are quite desperate and have never been after big money. They prefer to snatch whatever they can from their victims and take to their heels quickly.”

On the other hand, SSP Mustansar Feroz does not agree that the crime rate in Lahore has increased. “As far as the Sundar case is concerned, the police have identified the accused in looting three houses in Bahria Town. They will be apprehended soon.”


The writer is a senior journalist and can be reached at ahsanzia155gmail.com



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