Rawalpindi - The professional beggars in Rawalpindi started lining up in the local markets and roadsides before Ramazan to collect alms, which the people grant them to seek blessing of Almighty Allah.

With the advent of the holy month, groups of beggars mostly women, children and old men, have crowded the markets, shopping malls, signals and streets for grabbing money, which people give as charity. According to shoppers in markets, these beggars use new tactics to gain attention of the people for the purpose of getting money by getting sympathy in the name of religion. “The concept of beggary has now emerged as a business as mostly the general public believes that inability of authorities concerned to control beggars reflects that there is a strong mafia behind the beggars,” said a resident of Commercial Market, Rawalpindi. The beggars start annoying people from Sixth Road Chowk while their groups continue chasing people in Commercial Market as those visiting the market describe them as a complex issue that seems out of control now. Mostly, the people consider giving alms as a religious obligation during Ramazan. The Rawalpindi Police, in its crackdowns on professional beggars, arrested 31 beggars to discourage the menace of begging and avoid risk of road accidents due to jaywalking of tramps. On the directives of the in-charge Beggars Squad, along with their respective teams, took action against the professional beggars, and detained them in different police stations of Rawalpindi city, said the Rawalpindi Police spokesperson.

On this occasion, SSP Operations Waseem Riaz said the special beggar squad was working hard to overcome the increasing number of professional beggars. “The professional beggars stand on various highways and squares of Rawalpindi city and not only affect the flow of traffic but also increase risk of accidents. Therefore, the public is also requested that do not serve alms to them as discouraging such factors will not only improve the society but also the flow of traffic,” he said.