BHALWAL-Rapidly expanding begging through the begging mafia in Bhalwal has worried the people while the government has failed to implement the law made to control it.

United Lawyers Forum Chairman Sajjad Haider Gondol said that tykes, disabled and even healthy beggars are used for begging to squeeze wherewithal in the name of charity. Beggars beg out of their habit of idleness and government does not seem sincere in implementation of the relevant laws to eradicate begging.

Groups of male and female beggars are spread out in the markets causing nuisance for the local residents. They are also indulged in drug selling, stealing and prostitution. The people were of the view that apathetic attitude of the police is main cause of expanding beggary.

Tax Bar Association President Umar Ashraf Bhatti recommended establishment of rehabilitation centres for teaching technical skills to the beggars so as to make them productive citizens. Section 7 of the Punjab Vagrancy Ordinance 1958 says that any police officer without an order from a magistrate and without a warrant may arrest and search any person who appears to him to be beggar and may seize anything found on or above such person that he believes to be liable to confiscation under this Ordinance. The punishment provided for beggars under this Ordinance is imprisonment of 3 years. The Ordinance also provides punishment of one year or fine or both for those people who employ beggars to collect charity.