ISLAMABAD: Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Islamabad Syed Mustafa Tanveer has said the police were trying their best to take street children off road.

He believed that the begging children were victims of the ‘begging mafia’ in the city. He visited different locations of the city to supervise the campaign the police have launched against professional beggars.

Additional SP Islamabad Farhat Abbas Kazmi, SP City Mohammad Umar Khan and other officials accompanied the SSP as he visited katchi abadis. The operation has been launched on the directions of IGP Qazi Jamilur Rehman.

The police said teams raided different camps of professional beggars, especially in katchi abadis, after intelligence input from the additional SP. The police teams arrested the handlers of the professional beggars and drug dealers.

Speaking on the occasion, the SSP operations said begging had turned out to be a profession and to check this practice the police had started a campaign. He said the majority of beggars were children and women. The police department has also contacted the Child Protection Institute under the ministry of human rights and sought their help in ending the menace. He said the arrested begging children were later handed over to the Child Protection Institute. He said the police wanted these children to go to school and become a respectable member of society.

He also appealed to the residents not to give alms to these professional beggars and look for really needy people. He said the police had so far arrested at least 30 persons who were allegedly handling the professional beggars.

Published in Dawn, May 3rd, 2021

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