LAHORE: The Investigative Police in the provincial capital appear to be at a low ebb in carrying out their primary function of apprehending criminals and bringing them to justice in court.
A case filed at Shahdara police station by old Zahoor Ahmad is a classic example of police “apathy”. Instead of supporting him, Gujjarpura police filed charges against Ahmad for kidnapping the “suspects who stole valuables from him in Shahdara police jurisdiction last year”.
The police allegedly victimized the plaintiff for pursuing the case against the suspects who are not only notorious in the police file, but also highly influential. The man and his family decided to give up.
Zahoor Ahmad had filed a complaint against a gang who stole 300,000 rupees from him as he walked out of a bank in Begumkot on May 7 last year. His FIR was filed 30 days after the incident.
“Since then, I have been facing a hardship as I frequently have to go to the police station and the offices of senior police officers to track down and arrest suspects,” Ahmad told Dawn. He lamented having had to deal with the pathetic behavior of the police officers who made him sit for hours outside their offices.
“Even after a lapse of a year, no one is helping to solve my case,” he said, adding that he had to spend huge expenses and too much time.
The old man said his young son – a private office worker – accompanied him most of the time. In September, he said his son was fed up with the case, took a month’s leave and decided to personally track down the criminals.
“My son visited various branches of Lahore Police, bribed the staff and eventually managed to get useful clues and files on various criminal gangs operating in the Shahdara area,” Ahmad said. He also visited the Safe Cities Authority and the Crime Record Office (CRO) branch of the Lahore Police and obtained the photographs of the suspects wanted in his case.
It turned out that nine FIRs had already been filed against them at various police stations in the city. In some cases, few gang members were out on bail. Ahmad said he quickly recognized everyone who stole money from him outside Shahdara’s bank.
“Criminal records showed that all the suspects were residents of Singhpura, Lahore, and they used to move in groups to rob citizens,” he said. He said when his son went to the upper echelons of the police with solid evidence, they again turned a deaf ear.
“However, my son made one last effort and met a senior Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) officer through an influential man and briefed him on the whole situation,” he said. . The police officer delegated a CIA police inspector to track down and arrest the suspects. He said a gendarme managed to arrest one of the suspects who confessed to his crime during interrogation. CIA police recovered Rs 100,000 from the suspect out of the Rs 300,000 the gang got away with, he claimed.
“Meanwhile, another shocking development took place when the Gujjarpura Police filed a suspects kidnapping complaint against me,” Ahmad said. He suspected the involvement of the CIA police inspector in filing the bogus kidnapping case. A few days later, he said, the CIA police officer handed the suspect over to Shahdara Investigative Police while refusing to arrest other gang members.
Official crime statistics from the Investigative Wing of Lahore Police support the old man’s claim. The record shows a low conviction rate for heinous crimes reported in the city in the first nine months of this year. According to the report, 10,882 cases of theft were registered with the 82 police stations in the city during the above-mentioned period. Among them, investigations of 1,559 cases are still unresolved, 338 incomplete and 4,445 are under investigation.
Similarly, of the 66 dacoity cases, 26 are under investigation, seven not found and 17 cases are incomplete.
Posted in Dawn, September 29, 2022