LAHORE: The Punjab government on Saturday constituted six teams to launch a crackdown on beggars.

On the directions of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, Lahore police in collaboration with Child Protection and Welfare Bureau (CPWB) and social welfare department has formed six teams to initiate crackdown on professional and criminal record holder beggars to free the provincial capital of this nuisance.

Capital City Police Officer Ghulam Mahmood Dogar and CPWB Chairperson Sara Ahmad held a joint meeting. The social welfare department officials, DIG Operations retired Capt Sohail Chaudhry, Chief Traffic Officer Muntazir Mehdi, SSP (Discipline) Mubashir Maiken and other officials were also present.

The Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) and traffic police will also assist the teams to curb beggary and organised criminal gangs.

Mr Dogar said the children involved in begging would be handed over to CPWB and addicts to the government for rehabilitation. He said first information reports would be registered against habitual and professional beggars feigning as disabled persons.

He said they would start a campaign along with traffic police to remove beggars from traffic signals and busy roads to ensure smooth traffic flow.

He appealed to citizens to refrain from giving money to professional and non-deserving beggars as most of them are involved in crimes.

Ms Ahmad lauded the efforts of Lahore police for full support to save children from torture and forced begging.

The social welfare department assured their full cooperation to the police and CPWB in the rehabilitation process of children and the destitute.

Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2021

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