ISLAMABAD-The dacoits took away over Rs500 million collectively in 20 incidents of dacoity in the Islamabad Capital Territory in the outgoing year of 2019, according to the police records.

As per the data available with The Nation, valuables including cash, prize bonds, jewellery, cars and motorbikes were robbed from the citizens. The dacoity incidents took place in jurisdiction of different police stations of Islamabad, negating the police claims that law and order in the city was under control. The 20 incidents itself are indicative of poor police performance. The crime does not stop here. Besides the dacoity, the city witnessed 271 incidents of robbery, 187 incidents of day/night burglary, 282 of general theft, 213 of car theft and 260 incidents of motorcycle theft during the first 10 months of the outgoing year.

Around 69 incidents of murder and 338 of kidnapping for ransom are besides this crime, making it a total of 1,640 heinous crimes occurred in the ICT limits in the said period.

According to the details of some of the dacoity incidents, on January 2, 2019, six unknown dacoits broke into the house of Muhammad Ejaz Anwer Khan in sector G-11/2 at around 9:15pm in the jurisdiction of Ramana police station and looted away cash, gold ornaments and other valuables worth Rs350,000.

On January 7, five dacoits entered the house of Dr. Ali Muhammad Mughal in sector I-8/2 at around 4pm, took his wife hostage at gunpoint and looted away gold ornaments worth Rs368,000. The incident took place in the jurisdiction of Industrial Area police station.

On February 19, five dacoits entered the house of General Hamid Mahmood in sector E, DHA Phase 2, Islamabad at around 9:30am and took away diamond set, gold ornaments, wrist watches, I-Pads, a pistol and cash worth Rs5.2 million. The incident took place in the jurisdiction of Sihala police station.

On 16 March, unknown fellow passengers, apparently in connivance with driver of the van, looted away mobile phones, cash Rs5000 from one Nawazish Khan son of Muslim Khan near Sangjani Toll Plaza when he was boarding a van to go to Haripur. The incident took place in the limits of Tarnol police station.

On 21 May 2019, some 10 persons including Tayyaba Gul wife of Farooq Naul, Farooq Naul son of Muhammad Anwar allegedly snatched cheque books, stamp papers, mobile phones and cash Rs2.9 million from Umer Hayat at the main gate of Khayaban-e-Kashmir, falling in the limits of Tarnol police station.

On 23 May, some 12 persons including Naseem Khan son of Haji Hashmatullah, Naqeebullah son of Haji Hashmatullah, Jameel Khan son of Haji Hashmatullah looted at gun point over 400 imported carpets from a carpet trader Abid Mir son of Hassamuddin Mir at Sarai Kharbooza in the limits of Tarnol police station. The estimated loss was Rs450 million. It is to mention here that the complainant had been residing in Singapore for the last 40 years.

On 26 May, five unknown persons snatched motorbike worth Rs50,000 from Nasrullah son of Hamesh Khan near Pindorian ground in the jurisdiction of Khanna police station and fled away from the scene. They also fired upon the complainant who luckily remained safe.

On 30 May, eight unknown persons opened fire on the vehicle of one Basit Ali in the limits of Noon police station and after the driver stopped the vehicle. The dacoits took away valuables and cash from the complainant’s family. The dacoits also injured brother of the complainant by opening fire at them.

On 5 June, five unknown persons forced their entry into the house of Dr. Shahbaz son of Abdul Khaliq in sector F-10/2 falling in the jurisdiction of Shalimar police station, took the family hostage and looted away I-pad, car, gold ornaments and cash.

On the night of August 16, five to six unknown persons took hostage three guards of a construction company; M/s Tahir Builders at Motorway Service Road in sector H-16 and took away construction material including copper wire, copper rod, copper strip worth Rs8 million. The incident took place in the limits of police station Noon.

On the night of 12 September, five unknown persons scaled the wall of house of Hashim Asad son of Asad Zahoor in Orchard Scheme Murree Road Islamabad and took the family hostage at gunpoint. The dacoits collected Rolex watches, diamond sets, 500 Euros, 300 dollars, Rs90,000, weapons and gold ornaments worth million rupees. The incident took place in the jurisdiction of Khanna police station.

On October 1, 2019, some unknown persons looted away a cash van of Pakistan Post in Rawal Town falling in the limits of Shahzad Town police station and deprived the department of Rs15.3 million.

On 28 October, four unknown persons entered a private bank branch in Bahria Enclave falling in the jurisdiction of Bani Gala police station and took away Rs2.6 million.

When crime rate increases, it produces broader social insecurity amongst the residents. Fear of crime directly affects the life of ordinary citizens. The capital city of Islamabad witnessed around 1,640 cases of heinous crime including murder and dacoity in the first 10 months of the year 2019, a statement that underlines the need to immediately take necessary measures to check crime in the capital city. Nowhere is the security problem more apparent than in the suburban areas of the capital. The large-scale transfers and postings of officials at different police stations could make no difference between what the residents had been experiencing in the past and what they are facing now-a-days.

On the other hand, a large number of street crimes goes unnoticed due to the victims’ no-trust in the policing system. It goes without saying that snatching at gun point has become a feature of Islamabad’s living. Gone are the days when people used to quote Karachi, and Lahore, as the most insecure cities to live in. Women have become a ‘soft target’ for these street thugs who are operating organised like ‘mafia’ with their own boundaries demarcated and with each passing day, these gangs of criminal are getting stronger and stronger. The city seems to have turned into a comfortable abode for all kinds of criminals and the police seem to be in deep slumber.