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May 12, 2021

Eid: A test case for police, burglars

Islamabad : The police have buckled up their boots and tightened their belts to counter incidents of break-ins but, the criminals are more efficient, more active, and more professional in their jobs.

Time will examine the capability of law enforcers and the skill of the criminal gangs, how the police would counter the break-ins and how the proficient burglars sweep the houses.

Various street crime gangs have landed in twin-cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad to hit residential and commercial houses on Eid days when residents would leave for their ancestral towns leaving their houses on the mercy of mobsters.

The general public, especially, victims of gangsters, believe that the area police or key cops of the police station are directly involved in criminal activities. “Housemaid, sweepers, beggars, sometimes street vendors and private guards are hired for secret information about specific houses,” a police investigator said when asked by ‘The News’.

People engaged in the investigation of such cases, having enough knowledge about the working of the gangsters, believe that the criminals involved in house breaking or burglaries, distribute areas for their crime activities and follow the procedure set by their chieftains.

He said organised crime magnates, divide the city in different parts, keeping the population of the city in view, the police sources said, adding, the gangs often reach their target cities one week before Eid and initiate a survey of specific areas and mark their targets.

Break-ins can occur at any time to anyone at any place. The highest percentage of break-ins happens in the summer or religious holy occasions like Eid, Ramazan, and Ashra-e-Muharram, while people are away on vacations, or begin to leave their windows and doors open more often.

Unfortunately, a home security system isn’t a guarantee your home won’t be a target but the gangs were more aware of the secrets of the targeted house and were capable to breach the security systems installed to secure the house.

The police sources said, objectives of the police and bandits are absolutely different from each other but both believe in loot and plunder, adding that the workings of both the factions are secret, no one knows, how the police are ‘running’ the trade of policing in police stations and how the burglars manage to break in?

“The corruption and abuse endemic to the Pakistani law enforcement system is described as ‘Thana Culture’ where no law exists, which is embodied as a hub of fear and terror for poor and voiceless people, abuse of powers, den of crimes, epicentre of criminal activities, and a bargain hub of sale and purchase of justice,” a retired police officer expressed when contacted.

Operational police officers, admitting negative behaviour of police officers in police stations, said when asked that abuses can often be explained, if not justified, by the considerable pressures placed upon them. They listed organizational inadequacies, inadequate training and resources, lack of requisite funds, poor working condition, and lack of harmonization with other law enforcement agencies as obstacles to limpidity and culpability within the police force. All of these problems were worsened by pressures imposed by senior police officials to achieve results, and by politicians and other local elites with their own agendas.

The police also use their extensive powers of registration of cases, arrest, and detention at the behest of powerful societal elites including wealthy people, politicians, landowners and mighty bureaucracy to bring false charges against perceived opponents as a form of intimidation or punishment. Many are arbitrarily arrested under Pakistan’s Criminal Procedure Code. Because of the police attitude and behaviours, the criminals are becoming stronger and stronger and the law enforcers are going down and down.