LAHORE - The Punjab police in its annual performance report 2013 have revealed that more than 5100 alleged killers are on the loose in the province as the investigators poorly failed to track down these culprits.
Of the 6095 murders reported in the province during the last year, at least 569 were registered in Lahore. There was one murder after every one hour and 43 minutes break. The law enforcing agency has also declared at least 501 cases, mostly blind murders, as untraceable as the investigators failed to resolve the mysteries.
Police report says that at least 6095 murders were registered against 17481 accused persons in various police stations of the province in 2013. Police investigators are yet to capture 5117 alleged killers, who were nominated as prime accused or their accomplices in the FIRs. At least 597 murder cases, reported last year, are still under investigations as the cops have failed to submit the challans in the courts. Dozens of persons who were killed over love-affair are also among the victims of gun crime.
Crime experts say they believe most of the killings took place due to family disputes and old enmities in the most populated province. The police also cancelled 252 cases of murder due to the reasons best known to the investigators.
Most of the victims were killed with firearm like shotguns and pistols while the police are unable to control the smuggling and trade of illegal weapons, which is thriving in the underground market. Experts cited several reasons behind the police failure in arresting the criminals involved in killings including corruption, lack of interest, and faulty investigations.
The provincial capital topped the province in the number of murders reported last year with 569 followed by Faisalabad district with 527 killings. Bahawalnagar district witnessed 338 incidents; Sheikhupura registered 258, Gujrat 221, Sialkot 215, Rahim Yar Khan 200, Dera Ghazi Khan 128, Khanewal 123, and Jhang 123.
At least 6874 cases of attempted murder were also reported in the province last year and again Lahore left all other districts behind with 753 cases. Police investigators failed to arrest more than 6200 accused persons nominated in the attempted murder cases in 2013.
The police record reveals that at least 239 most-wanted criminals (MWC) and 89545 proclaimed offenders, who are wanted to the police in multiple killings, murders, kidnapping for ransom, and armed robberies, and other incidents of crimes are at large across the Punjab.
The pathetic situation puts a big question mark on the working of the investigation police, a wing of the provincial police supposed to help provide justice to the victims. Some senior officers say the non-arrest of most wanted criminals and proclaimed offenders is the major reason behind the surge in the crimes incidents.
Police report also underlines that 20677 cases of motor vehicle theft had been reported in 2013 while the police registered 6441 cases of motor vehicle snatching as well. From January to December, the police also reported 18289 cases of armed robberies and 2,768 cases of dacoities involving more than five gunmen.
During informal chat, a senior police officer, who severed on key posts in the province, was of the view that the growing corruption in the police department and poor command of the top officials is the major factor behind the non-arrest of the accused.
He says the police don’t move to carry out raids to arrest the accused persons even in murder cases before they are paid bribe by the victim party. When contacted, a police investigator on the condition of anonymity said that the lower subordinates have to bear the expenses of raids in pursuit of the criminals. He blamed the senior officers for the mess stating that they consume all the operational funding as government funds never reach police stations.
In their campaign manifesto, the PML-N had pledged the much-needed police reforms. Under the present scenario when the law and order situation is worsening with every passing day, the claims of change in police culture (Thana culture) seems ridiculous.