HAFIZABAD-The incidents of bike-snatching, cattle-lifting and robbery have increased in the area but the police have failed to minimise the activities of criminals.

Two motorcyclists were deprived of cash, gold ornaments and cell phones worth thousands of rupees near Kot Hassan Khan.

According to police source, Gulzar Ahmad of Garhi Awan along with his family members was on way to Bhaka Bhattian by his vehicle. Near Kot Hassan Khan on Kahnqah Dogran road, three armed bandits riding a car intercepted them and snatched away Rs8,000 and a cell phone. On the same spot, Altaf son of Rafique of Sakhi village was on the way to nearby village by a car. He was also intercepted by the same dacoits and deprived of Rs10,000 and a cell phone. The citizens have called upon the DPO to intensify patrolling on Highways to provide sense of security to the travelling public.

Meanwhile, a trader and a bike rider were deprived of cash and cell phones worth over Rs3 lakh on Bhaka Bhattian Road near Muttam village.

According to police source, Muhammad Iqbal son of Muhammad Sadiq, a trader of Quaidabad district Khushab was on way to Hafizabad by vehicle (LES-7213) driven by Suleman. Near Muttam, three armed bandits intercepted them and snatched away Rs290,000 and cell phones from them.

Similarly, a bike rider Sheikh Shahzad son of Irshad Ahmad of Mohallah Tajpura Hafizabad was on way to Kassoki. At Pindiwala, the same dacoits intercepted him and snatched away Rs1500 and a cell phone. The Bhaka Bhattian road linking the Motorway has become dangerous for the public for the past some time but the police have failed to check day-to-day robbery incidents.

Meanwhile, the district police claimed to have smashed three gangs of dacoits, burglars and rounded up 126 proclaimed offenders, 44 dacoits and burglars and 277 criminals during July last.

DPO Saifullah Khan said that the police smashed three gangs operating in the area and arrested 12 of its members and seized stolen articles worth Rs3,335,000 from their possession. Moreover, 119 court deserters have been nabbed and 59 anti-social elements have been arrested and two Kalashnikov, 11 shotguns, 5 riffles, 37 pistols, 1 carbine, 1 dagger and 233 rounds of ammunition were recovered from them, he said. In addition, the police have arrested 45 drug peddlers and have recovered 700 grams opium, 110 grams heroin, 800 kg chars, 137 litres liquor, 26 litres 'lahan' and unearthed one working still during last month.

Encroachments resurface

Encroachments have resurfaced in the city causing traffic hazards and creating manifold problems for the shopkeepers and motorists particularly pedestrians.

Since the transfer of Hafizabad DC Saleha Saeed, who had taken serious initiative to clear the city from encroachments and to ensure better sanitary conditions in the city, no one in authority in the district has shown interest in this regard. She had set up eight red zones in the city where rickshaw parking, rehriwalas and shopkeepers were banned to stock their commodities in front of their shops.

She had succeeded in her mission but after her transfer, the mafia behind the encroachers has again become active as a result of which all the city roads, congested lanes and footpaths have been again occupied by the rickshawawalas and pushcart owners due to the apathetic attitude of the concerned authorities with impunity causing a lot of problems in the smooth flow of traffic on the city roads.

The citizens have called upon the authorities to launch vigorous crackdown on the encroachers and remove traffic hazards.

The traffic police have also failed to check unauthorised rickshaw stands particularly in the busiest intersections and footpaths which is creating hurdles in the smooth flow of traffic.