SHO Kohsar removed for failure to control crimes

Islamabad – The police high ups removed Station House Officer Kohsar police station for his alleged failure in protecting the lives and properties of the citizens amidst reports of rising incidents of purse snatching, particularly form women.

The purse-snatching incidents have been occurring frequently in Super Market located in sector F-6 and Jinnah Super Market in sector F-7 where motorcyclists come and loot the people. The decision for removal of Asjad Mahmood was taken, apparently, in the wake of the incident in which an armed man had robbed a woman at gun point in the posh shopping centre of the capital, the Super Market. Dr Fareeha Bughti, a resident of Islamabad and reportedly an officer at the Foreign Office, had just switched off her car at Super Market parking on the evening of December 22 when a man covering his face with a muffler pointed his pistol at her and deprived her of the bag and mobile phone. She was deprived of cash and other valuables. According to the complainant, the whole incident, which took place in the jurisdiction of Kohsar police station, took barely 1-2 minutes and the culprit sped away.   

The high ups replaced Asjad Mahmood with Ahmed Kamal as SHO with a hope that protection of life and property of the people will be ensured. Asjad Mahmood served as SHO Kohsar police station for around 4 months and failed to control crime in the area.

The residents and consumers had expressed concern over growing incidents of purse and mobile snatching in the posh markets of the city.

They were of the view that security arrangements at the markets were next to nil. The consumers are looted in broad daylight at gunpoint due to lack of proper security arrangements.

Due to improper street light system, the markets plunged into darkness just after the sunset providing an opportunity to the criminals to loot the visitors, they said.

Offenders usually target women walking alone in the two super markets of the city. Riding a bike, they arrive from nowhere and snatch purses and even before the victim recovers, they escape. The police have so far failed to address the issue. The purse snatchers strike regularly and in majority cases, youngsters are found to be involved in the crime.

In such an incident, a foreigner woman was robbed in Super Market in February 2014. Two armed motorbike riders deprived the foreigner of cash and valuables worth Rs70,000 in Super Market. The woman from Ireland was walking in the market when she was robbed.

Also, on February 22, an Iranian couple was arrested on the charge of snatching money from people.

On January 25, motorbike riders also robbed a Chinese national in the area. Same year, on October 27, two armed motorbike riders snatched a purse from a woman from Thailand who worked in a Thai restaurant at a five-star hotel in the capital.

In October 2017, an Australian woman who was out for shopping in F-6 was robbed. Previously, a Canadian senator had been robbed in the same neighbourhood. The woman, Jennifer Isobel McKay, was sitting in her car when the goons approached her vehicle and put a pistol to her head. They took away her bag which included a lot of valuables including her phone, laptop, a camera and Rs10,000 in cash.

In 2014, Islamabad police arrested three gangs involved in snatching purses from women and other crimes. The special investigation unit (SIU) of the police nabbed the suspects. Two suspects, Atif Ali alias Aati and Zohaib alias Zaibi, confessed to have snatched purses from Saadia Awan, an assistant director in the Foreign Office, in Jinnah Super Market and from Punjab MPA Surriya Nasim in F-10 Markaz.

They also confessed two other purse-snatching incidents in Bahria Town and F-10 Markaz. The security cameras installed at the markets even could not help police check the crime.

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