RAWALPINDI: In order to rein in private guards employed by housing societies, the Rawalpindi police chief on Tuesday said there will be a ban on private armed guards and weapons inside housing schemes.
If any private housing society wants to keep guards, they should acquire the services of private security companies that are registered and have licensed weapons with their guards in uniform, the City Police Officer (CPO) said during a press conference held at the Police Lines Headquarters regarding a crackdown on armed groups of private housing societies who have created terror and fear in Chontra – outskirts of Rawalpindi where the police had frequently come under attack.
The National Action Plan (NAP) will be executed and police would take indiscriminate measures against the land mafia. “We have apprehensions that they might have any links with terrorist groups which is alarming for us,” CPO Bukhari said, adding, “I am affirmed that I would clear the area of unlicensed firearms and private armed guards within the following ten days.”
The CPO said that the police had conducted 17 search operations in Chontra and Chakri areas.
During the search operations, he claimed that 350 cases were registered and 730 accused were arrested. “More than 2300 bullets, 181 Kalashnikovs, 76 rifles, 59 pistols, one LMG, and three other rifles were recovered from the accused; 350 cases were registered against the occupation mafia and illegal housing societies against Blue World City,” the CPO said.
At least 206 cases, 39 cases against Abdullah City, 56 cases against Capital Smart City and 49 cases against Multi Garden City, 11 cases of murder, nine cases of terrorism, 18 cases of attempted murder, four cases of kidnapping, 14 cases of aerial firing, four cases of attack on police, 266 cases of illegal weapons, and 24 other cases were registered, said the CPO.
The CPO said departmental actions were being taken against police officers who have links with the land mafia as police would not allow anyone to illegally occupy the land. In addition to departmental action, criminal proceedings will be initiated against police officials favouring the land mafia in the past, he added.
A grand operation is being conducted against the perpetrators, he added. “We are confronting the mafia. There have been 40 convictions during the past month,” the CPO said.
When asked whether the police will take any action against Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) which issued clearance certificates for private housing societies, he replied that he will engage other departments in this regard.
Published in Dawn, February 1st, 2023
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