Rawalpindi - The crime rate in Rawalpindi surged during the year of 2014 with the auto-theft gangs flocking in various localities and lifting a total of 1140 vehicles of different makes and 1601 motorcycles worth billion of rupees. However, the recovery rate remained low during the whole year.

Statistics show that despite the presence of large number of police check posts at entry and exit points of the city, there was no let-up in the crime rate and there were frequent reports of crimes, including murders, attempted murders, kidnappings for ransom, robberies and street crimes, car thefts and mobile snatchings.

The worst hit areas, in which the auto theft gangs played havoc with citizens by stealing cars and motorcycles, are Sadiqabad, New Town, Airport, Cantt and Civil Lines.

Similarly, armed gangs of robbers and dacoits kept ruling the roads of the city in 2014 with targeting women, girls and other citizens and snatching purses, mobile phones, laptops and other valuables.

The outgoing year also witnessed a new horrible trend of shooting and injuring by robbers during dacoity incidents on showing resistance by the helpless citizens.

According to the statistics collected by The Nation from various sources, a total of 340 people were murdered in the city while some 470 incidents of attempted murders reported to different police stations. Similarly, a total of 1950 house robberies were reported with different police stations in the city with no recovery of looted stuff.

However, police managed to arrest a few dacoits and robbers’ gangs which was definitely not enough to control the surging crime rate. Robbers and intruders while displaying lethal weapons stormed into 157 houses, shops and bungalows and made off with gold, mobile phones and jewellery, electronic appliances and other valuables besides injuring a large number of tenants on putting resistance.

Dacoits’ gangs committed a total of 50 dacoities in the city and plundered the valuables from the citizens.  According to the statistics, more than 480 girls and women were kidnapped from the city.  

On the other hand, the drug peddlers and narcotics sellers enjoyed the lethargy of the city police during 2014 as they kept selling and smuggling charas, heroin, Opium and other drugs in the streets and on roads.

Police lodged complaints against 15,955 drug peddlers and narcotics sellers in the region during 2014. Though City Police Officer (CPO) Rawalpindi accelerated action against flesh trade business in the city yet it could not be controlled as brothel houses have been opened in all areas in general while within the limits of police stations Sadiqabad, New Town, Saddar Bairooni, Airport, Ratta Amral, Waris Khan, Naseerabad, Westridge and Race Course in particular. However, the police adopted hardened attitude towards Shehsha Centres in 2014 and raided a large numbers of Shehsha Centres in the city.  

Meanwhile, the trend of framing fake cases against people by police also attained a new peak in 2014 with lodging a fake FIR against cook of a martyred SSP Hilal Khan of smuggling 1050 grams of heroin by Civil Line police apparently on orders of two top cops (SP Investigations Haroon Joya and SSP Traffic Range Ashfaq Khan). No action was taken against the both police high-ups despite of the fact that the court of law bailed the accused cook Wazir Hussain even after two or three hearings.  

Background interviews with police high-ups, who enjoy good repute in the department, revealed that the main reason behind the surge in crime was deputing of police on VVIP duties.

They said that the strong links of SHOs in the areas, where criminals played havoc, with politicians was the other reason behind the police failure to control the crime.

In Rawalpindi Division such as Rawalpindi, Chakwal, Jhelum and Attock, more than 25,500 incidents ranging from murder, attempted murder, narcotics, dacoity, armed robberies, kidnapping for ransom, rape, house robberies, snatching of purse, mobile, jewellery and other valuables on gun point.

According to date, more than 600 people were murdered while 100 women/girls were raped in the division during 2014. Similarly, more than 970 people (men/women/girls) were kidnapped by the kidnappers.

No police high-up of Rawalpindi Division was available for comments on the drastic increase of crime.