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October 14, 2016

Shadbagh turns into haven for criminals


October 14, 2016


Shadbagh, a major part of northern Lahore, is turning into a criminals’ paradise due to sheer negligence of local police.

It seems that a law of the jungle prevails in the thickly-populated part of northern Lahore where crime, injustice, corruption and abuse of power continue unabated and local people are waiting for some miracle to get rid of criminal elements who are operating freely.

From child abduction to land grabbing, car theft to motorbike theft, mobile snatching to robberies and from one-wheeling to kite flying, all illegal activities have been reported in Shadbagh police limits and what adds to the woes of the citizens is the corruption of some local policemen who not only demand bribe from complainants who want to lodge a case but also threaten of dire consequences if any call was made to 15 (police emergency). The local residents have demanded the chief minister to take the notice of the gravity of the situation in Shadbagh.

The treatment being meted out to the affectees is one of the key reasons behind the growing resentment among the people of the area towards their elected representatives as well as police. Like other areas of Lahore, the area is also not save from the incidents of child abduction, dacoities, robberies and mobile snatching. Most of the local people who were robbed alleged that police didn’t even bother to register FIRs and they were asked to come "some other time."

“My child has been missing for last two months, only I know what I have been undergoing since he went missing, every time we go police, they ask us to wait, I want my child, nothing else” said Musarrat, mother of Faizan  Arshad, a nine-year-old boy who went missing on the night of May 15.

Mohammed Arshed, father of Faizan Arshed, is a barber who works in the Middle East. Upon hearing the news of his son missing, he returned home the next day. After spending two months in Pakistan, a dejected Arshad returned to the Middle East. “Nobody has come to see us, they only come to get votes and never meet us again” said a sobbing Musarrat. The family lives at Feroze Park, near Amir Road.

Some four years ago, Subhan, 2, son of a local resident Murad, was kidnapped in the adjacent street. Subhan hasn’t been recovered yet. Similarly, Ali Yasin, a resident of Altaf Park, Sher Shah Road, New Shadbagh, describes October 6, 2016 as the most horrible day of his life. Ali told The News that his family had a stay order from the court over a shop which was under its use. On October 6, the other party, with the help of armed persons attacked the shop, threw the goods out and grabbed the land. Not only this, Ali said, they also started constructing a wall in the compound of their house which was the residential area of his family. Ali immediately called 15 and after the passage of nearly half an hour, Sub Inspector named Allah Rakha reached the spot. What followed was horrible, said Ali. He said that he was expecting police to implement the court’s stay order but instead of it SI Allah Rakha detained him and his younger brother Abdullah. Both brothers were kept behind the bar for more than three hours. Their family first approached Shadbagh SHO Mudssar Ullah Khan but he didn’t respond to the request, later the family brought the matter into the notice of DSP Misrishah Haji Akram but nothing changed. Finally, when the matter was brought to the notice of SP City Mohammed Naveed, the two brothers, kept in custody illegally, were released.

On the same day, the entire matter was once again presented before the DSP Misri Shah in Shadbagh police station but much to the surprise of the aggrieved family, rather than ordering action against elements involved in the contempt of court, Ali and his family were asked to appear before the DSP the next day. From October 6 to October 13, it has been seven days but neither the DSP met the aggrieved family nor any action was sought against elements involved in the land grabbing and contempt of court orders. Nauman Jamshed Advocate, a practicing lawyer in the area of Shadbagh while talking to The News said that major complaints he received from his clients is about delay in the registration of FIRs as well as bribe by local policemen if someone wanted registration of a case.

What Nauman Jamshed Advocated stated was seconded by Rana Kamran, a resident of Habibia Road, who has been visiting the Shadbagh police station for over one month now for registration of a case of fraud of Rs 2.5 million. He said that from the Muharrar to the SHO, he had met everybody but the case could not be registered. What adds to his woes is  the demand of monetary favours by a sub-inspector.

“The sub-inspector has been asking me to pay him the amount of his choice if I want to get the case registered” said Rana Kamran, who is a businessman. He said that he had undergone an agonizing time since the fraud of Rs 2.5 million with all documentary proofs as when he reached the police station, he was asked by the SI to pay him bribe. When asked whether he brought the matter to the notice of the SHO, Rana Kamran replied with a ‘yes’ and stated when he told him about all this, he did nothing but smiled.

This isn’t the only incident when Shadbagh police hasn’t lodged an FIR of a crime. In a number of incidents, citizens said that they had to undergo humiliation and disgrace when they visited the police station to lodge their complaints.

Ahmed Rafique, a businessman working in Saudia Arabia, who was on a tour to Pakistan, was robbed of Rs 359,000 in cash after he was returning home from a local bank in Shadbagh on the afternoon of July 18 along with his brother Asad. Two unidentified armed motorists deprived the two of the cash and also fired shots four times to terrify the brothers and warned them not to follow them.

Talking to The News, Asad stated that the incident took place at 2pm and the local SHO didn’t register an FIR after which local traders visited the police station. He also complaint that the SHO also misbehaved with his relatives and after the local traders threaten to lodge a protest, a FIR was registered at 2 in the night, 12 hours after the incident. Asad stated that last year while he was visiting Pakistan, he along with his wife was robbed at the same place.

Dr Tariq Ahmed Salimi, a homeopath, was intercepted by two unidentified armed persons outside his residence on Thursday, October 6. He was deprived of a cell phone and around Rs30, 000 in cash. The incident occurred around 9:15 pm on October 6 and the family immediately called 15 but the local police reached the spot with a delay of over two hours, a span in which the looters can even reach Gujranwala after committing the crime. Tariq Ahmed Salimi could not lodge the FIR despite a lapse of seven days.

There was another strange incident in the same vicinity when a citizen, who was robbed by unidentified armed persons on 28th of Ramazan ( a couple of days before Eid ul Fitr in July) finally got the FIR registered after the passage of over 70 days.

“The incident with me took place before Eid ul Fitr and I have got the FIR days after Eid ul Azha, and I am also not satisfied with the contents of it as what had happened to me was actually not mentioned in the document” Aqeel of Iqbal Road said.  Shiekh Aqeel, a trader, was deprived of prize bonds, cash and other valuables worth Rs 0.3 million, just a couple of days before Eid ul Fitr. Till date, according to Sheikh Aqeel, the FIR hasn’t been registered and the police officials ask him to visit again.

Qari Nazeer Ahmed, an Imam Masjid, narrating his experience said that his motorbike LEX 2222 was stolen on August 22 outside the Masjid at 9pm at the time of Isha prayers. He stated that since the day, he had visited the Shadbagh police station several times but the duty officials only consoled him while saying not to worry and let the police search it without registration of an FIR. It has been over two months that he had neither been able to get the FIR registered nor got his vehicle recovered.

Shad Khan, a businessman of Shadbagh, had a very bitter experience just a week before Eid ul Azha when car thieves stole his new car in the morning, around 6: 30 am. The CCTV footage shows people traveling in a car

and a motorbike, who made away with the costly vehicle. Despite the footage, the local police hasn’t been able to trace the gang.

Moreover, in the area and adjoining streets which are situated not too far from the Shadbagh police station, citizens have been robbed a number of times and the situation continues to worsen.

Sheikh Rizwan, a resident of Chaudhry Park, Shadbagh, who was returning from his shop on May 14, was robbed by two unidentified motorists who deprived him of Rs 0.4 million, driving license, ATM card and other documents. Police reached the spot after nearly one hour of the incident and after hectic efforts by the family, the case was registered.

Dr Anum Fatima, a lady doctor working in Mayo Hospital, was deprived of two cell phones and cash in the morning of September 16. The family immediately informed the Shadbagh police station while dialing its number 04237281045 but when nothing was done for one hour, the matter was brought into the notice of SP City Division Mohammed Naveed after which the local SHO and DSP reached the spot. The police officials said elements involved in the incident would be traced within one week, but it has been a month now, police have failed to nab them.

SHO Shadbagh Mudassar Ullah Khan while talking to The News said that already a front desk had been established in every police station to facilitate the complainants which has to present its report within three days. He stated that no complain could go unnoticed under the current mechanism evolved for the public.

To a question about the criminal gangs, he stated the police were regularly launching search operations and nabbing elements involved in the corrupt activities. He also said that most of the activities were carried out by hardened criminals who had also been imprisoned previously who form gangs after being released.

However, he said that no one was above the law and all sources were being utilized to tighten the noose around criminals.

DSP Misrishah Circle Haji Akram, while talking to The News stated there could be no tolerance against anyone violating law or involved in corruption. He said that if anyone lodged complaint him, he would deal the matter purely in accordance with the law. 

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