LAHORE – Police stations across the City are packed with thousands of seized motorcycles while the owners of these motorbikes are running from pillar to post to get the two-wheelers back from the police custody, a mission almost impossible under present circumstances.
Since the new ‘Police Order’ is being implemented in the Punjab Capital on the orders of the newly-appointed Capital City Police Officer (CCPO), Amjad Javed Saleemi, more than 12,000 unregistered motorcycles have been ‘detained’ across the city.
Almost a week ago, the Lahore police launched the campaign against the ‘Applied for Registration’ motorcycles plying on the roads without registration yet. The CCPO while chairing a meeting on law and situation in the city the other day, ordered the police to seize all the Applied for Registration motorbikes.
According to insiders, the police officer believed that mostly unregistered motorcycles are used in the street crimes and the police normally could not trace the criminals in such blind cases. The police set up over one hundred pickets across the provincial metropolis and seized thousands of unregistered motorcycles.
Officials confirmed on Saturday that more than 12,000 motorbikes were seized as the owner had not got the bikes registered with the provincial authority – the Excise and Taxation department Punjab.
Literally, the official procedure to get the bikes registered and then its recovery from the police is so complicated that many informed citizens have become rolling stone to fulfill the legal requirements. The police are bound to handover the motorbikes to the owners only after it is registered and a computerized number-plate issued from the Excise and Taxation department. The complainants say that the department has suspended issuance of computerized number plates, owing to sever shortage.
The on-duty officials are minting money from the violators of the law and are ‘releasing’ the bikes only after accepting bribe, thanks to the CCPO for introducing ideal policing in the provincial metropolis.
On the other hand, the attitude of the policemen at the police station is being observed very negative. In fact, the police are multiplying the miseries of the citizens rather than providing them any relief.
But the police officers during in format chat told a different story stating that they had recovered 200 stolen motorcycles during the campaign since the owners of the Applied for Registration never turned up again to claim the two-wheelers. They also believe that the campaign, launched on the orders of the CCPO in Lahore, proved very effective as it would help government collect huge revenue as well. They further claimed that this exercise would also help downgrade the crimes rate in the City.
However, as a matter of fact there was no let-up in the incidents of armed robberies taking place in Lahore despite such a campaign at large scale.
Last week, robbers continued their looting in the provincial metropolis and made off with cash, gold ornaments, and other valuables worth Rs900 million in more than 170 successful strikes. The bandits also took away 30 cars and 90 motorcycles from different parts of the City.
For an instance, dacoits on Saturday hit the provincial capital for more than two dozen times, robbed three residences, looted motorists, families, and passersby and escaped without facing any resistance. The bandits collected cash, gold ornaments, and other valuables worth Rs12 million in a day.
Three gunmen stormed into the Madina Pak Travel Company located in the Race Course police limits and snatched away Rs 1.5 million after holding the inmates’ hostage at gunpoint. The police reached the spot when the robbers had escaped.
On the same day, armed bandits forced their entry into three residences situated in the jurisdiction of Faisal Town, Baghbanpura and Township police and made off with cash, gold ornaments and other valuables worth Rs 1.8 million.
Robbers riding on motorcycles looted families at gunpoint in the Johar Town, Shera Kot and Shadbagh police areas and snatched away cash, gold ornaments and cellular phones worth Rs 600,000.
Gunmen held up motorists and passersby in the Mughalpura, Shafiqabad, Lower Mall, Factory Area, North Cantonment Lohari Gate, and Green Town police vicinities and made off with cash and valuables worth Rs one million.
Not enough, four cars were stolen away from Iqbal Town, Shahdara, Mustafabad, and Kahna police areas while eight motorcycles were either snatched or stolen away from Ravi Road, Samanabad, Gulshan-e-Ravi, Ghaziabad, Shafiqabad, Muslim Town, Akbari Gate and Islampura police jurisdiction.
The victim citizens have appealed to Chief Minister Punjab to take notice of the mess created by this so-called campaign and help them recover the seized bikes from the custody of the police. Crimes experts suggested that the police should move towards modern policing by adopting latest techniques to deal with the criminals, rather than implementing typical Thana culture.