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Sunday Nov 22 2020

Islamabad's citizens have a new problem: beggars with guns

The groups of beggars also including women and children often create problems for shoppers who find it hard to get rid of them. Photo: File

Islamabad's residents feel insecure as incidences of beggars carrying arms near traffic signals who rob people have been reported over the past few days. 

According to a report published in The News on Sunday, the crime history of the city highlighted various gangs of beggars that were involved in organised crimes. 

The crackdown against beggars had been carried out time and again in the past but they reappeared after some time in markets and commercial centres. 

Moreover, the groups of beggars, also including women and children, often create problems for shoppers who find it hard to get rid of them.

In this regard, a citizen named Razzak Kiyani, who is a resident of sector G-9, shared his apprehensions. “I have heard about an incident at the traffic signal in sector F-10/4 in which a dacoit pretending to be a beggar came near the window of the car and held the motorist at gunpoint.”

"It is really a dangerous situation because if traffic signals are not secure especially after sunset then how can people move easily in the city that happens to be the capital of Pakistan,” he regretted.

Read more: KP bill seeks to rehabilitate beggars, punish 'habitual' alm-seekers

Speaking about the existing laws and their implementation, Sidra Khan, a lawyer, said: “The existing laws never allow professional begging but still it is happening everywhere in the city. It is not a revelation that beggars are also involved in organised crimes especially in the residential areas.”

Khan further said that the law system has failed to evolve a strategy to provide alternative sources of income to professional beggars due to which they refuse to leave their illegal profession.

Reacting to the news, Islamabad Police tweeted that it was on the lookout for any armed beggar in the city. “Moreover, we are cross-checking from safe city cameras about the presence of any armed beggar.”