LAHORE  - In cricket, a batsman reaches a century when he scores 100 or more runs in a single innings. A century is regarded as a landmark score for a batsman. Since the top batsmen in our national cricket team have been showing bad performance particularly in one-day matches this year, the dacoits, robbers and bandits are performing excellently.

They are striking with impunity and completing a century in a day, which is evident from the fact that the police are reporting at least 100 cases of armed robberies taking place in a day in the Punjab province.  The official record reveals that the Punjab police have reported at least 2000 cases of dacoity, 13422 cases of robbery, and 10499 cases of burglary during the first nine months of 2013 (from January to September). By simple calculation one comes to know that at least 100 armed robberies are being reported in the province everyday.

In addition to armed robberies, at least 15712 vehicles have been stolen and 4943 vehicles are snatched at gunpoint by the gangsters during the first nine months of this year from all over the province. Simply, it means that at least 76 vehicles either are snatched or stolen away from different parts of the province daily.

According to the sources, more than 300 robberies including house robberies are taking place every day in the largest Punjab province. They say the police are reporting only 25 per cent of the total crimes incidents in order to show “good work” in the official record.

They believe the police deliberately hush up armed robberies which take place in the rural areas and small districts while the complainants are harassed when they approach the police stations for the registration of armed robberies.

For instance, Tariq Mahmood, a resident of Burewala, has been running from pillar to post to get a case (FIR) registered with Sadar Burewala police station since October 19.

The station house officer has straightforwardly refused to register the case against five unidentified dacoits who had snatched away Rs 155,000 and a mobile phone from Tariq.

The big cities like Lahore, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi, and Multan have virtually become safe-heaven for the gangsters since the cases of killings, kidnappings, robberies, and other heinous crimes are rapidly increasing, thanks to the government for leaving the public at the mercy of the robbers.

What to say about the protection to the lives and property of the people in the province where thousands of policemen are deployed to provide security cover to the VVIPs and VIPs. At a time when the country is confronting multiple challenges including terrorism and sectarianism, the police are unable to control the crimes.

The incidents of dacoities, robberies, and auto-lifting are on the rise in the Punjab this year but the police claimed that the crime rate has dropped to some extent.

Recently, a crimes report based on comparative analysis of 2012 and 2013 was presented to Punjab Inspector General of Police Khan Baig.

According to the report, the Punjab police reported a total of 79,664 cases of crimes against property in 2012 and this year so far the police registered 74,861 cases, which shows a decrease of 4,803 cases if compared with the previous year.

The police have also reported 1978 cases of dacoity this year against 2,383 cases registered in the province during the same period of 2012. The cases of robbery also decreased as the police reported 13246 cases of robberies in 2013 against 14052 cases reported in 2012.

Contrary to police claims of busting gangs of criminals, the crime data reveals that incidents of robberies and snatching of cars, motorbikes, cell phones, and other valuables are on the rise with every passing day. 

The victims of armed robberies say the police are part of the problem. They believe the corruption-riddled police get its due share from the criminals involved in crimes against property. The police have set up pickets and check-points in every nook and corner of the Punjab to check street scrims but the criminals and proclaimed offenders are freely roaming on the roads to commit crimes with impunity.

The situation is more than an eye-opener for the provincial government since the rulers had pledged police reforms and improvement in the law and order situation during the campaign manifesto in May.