LAHORE: Lahore Police has continuously failed in arresting swindler gangs alleged of depriving the innocent citizens of their lives and valuables across the metropolis.As many as five to six affected persons are daily admitted to different hospitals in the city while several of them lose their lives due to overdose of traditional drugs they are fed with by the fraudulent persons in order to make them lose consciousness before depriving them of their precious belongings.Such criminals, after developing acquaintances with their preys, mostly give them a dose of dhatura and other kinds of intoxicant-laced food and beverages. When the victim is unconscious, they make off with his belongings. Most of the people who fall prey to the activities of these ruthless criminals are the newcomers in the city. Also, such incidents are usually reported at local bus stands, railway station and its surrounding areas.In three such incidents that occurred during the last two days, the victims, namely Munir was admitted to the Jinnah Hospital, while Asad and Nadeem were admitted in the Nawaz Sahrif Hospital, Shernawala Gate. Talking to Daily Times, they said, “We took some food from one of our fellow passengers at Lorry Adda and immediately fell into a deep sleep. When we regained consciousness, we found our money, other valuables and important documents gone.”Upon contact, Rescue 1122 spokesperson said their emergency teams rescue three to four such victims on a daily basis across the city. He further said that the rescue teams shifted five unconscious persons to different hospitals across city during the past two days. The victims were found on the Motorway, Saggian Pul, Minar-e-Pakistan and Lorry Adda areas. They were identified as 45-year-old Munir, 34-year-old Muhammad Ilyas, 18-year-old Asad, 24-year-old Allah Ditta, and 25-year-old Nadeem. Generally, those who are looted this way are poor people who come to Lahore for employment.
The locals believe that concerned police officials are playing a very vague role in elimination of this crime as all those who are active across the city are working with organised gangs, which are never brought to justice and only a few of their members are caught every once in a while to justify the file work by the law enforcers.The unfortunate aspect of the said incidents is that the investigation wings of respective areas’ police stations are yet to nab such gangs, as all the cases are under investigation.Most of these gangs are said to be operating in the jurisdiction of the railway station, Lorry Adda, Tibbi City, Bhaati Gate, Lower Mall, Ravi Road, Rang Mahal, Masti Gate, Shafiqabad, Mozang, Lytton Road, Ichhra, Race Course, Nawankot, Sherkot and Iqbal Town Police. Such gangs also operate in or near important shrines, markets, bazaars and other important public places.
The victims are usually left unconscious and abandoned on roadsides or streets. Once at hospitals, such victims regain consciousness in a day or two and then narrate their horrific experiences, said a doctor at the Mayo Hospital. In this regard, a senior doctor, Dr Shahid Malik, said that such swindlers use dhatura, a local herb with intoxicating effects, on the victims.Nowadays, however, the crooks are also using high doses of sedatives, usually benzodiazepines, barbiturates or morphine, he added and said that chloroform usage for the purpose is also reported in some incidents. City Division Police Superintendent Shahzad Asif told Daily Times that these incidents occur due to lack of awareness among the innocent villagers and other people of far-flung areas who are new to the city and unaware of deceitful tactics of some wicked people.“Several such incidents have been brought to our notice and we have called a meeting to devise improvement techniques in vigilance at busy places, including bus stops. Also, our deputed officers in plainclothes will keep an eye on such organised gangs of swindlers. – Dailytimes