KARACHI: A sessions court has directed the Karachi police chief to reactivate the Anti-Beggary Unit in the police department and to take action against professional beggars at traffic intersections and other public spaces in the metropolis.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Sohail Ahmed Mashori asked the city police chief to submit a progress report by May 28.

The court emphasised working in collaboration with other government departments to target organised begging gangs and professional beggars.

The judge also instructed initiation of a legal action against beggars under relevant laws and directed the Karachi police chief to appoint a focal person for coordination with the social welfare department and the Sindh Child Protection Authority (SCPA) and reactivate the anti-beggary cell of the police department that had been dormant since 2018.

Judge asks Karachi police chief to file compliance report by 28th

Moreover, the court instructed submission of a progress report by May 28, while ordering the SCPA director to cooperate with police in dismantling the child victims of begging mafias.

Earlier in April, the judge dismissed an application filed under Section 22-A of the criminal procedure code (CrPC) by Ameer Khatoon, said to be a beggar, seeking direction for the registration of an FIR against four other beggars.

The applicant asked the court to order registration of a case against the suspects who allegedly harassed her at gunpoint and threatened her to leave a place near the bus stop.

Later, the Seedabad SHO submitted a report in court, revealing that both parties were beggars and filing complaints against each other.

The court dismissed the application and observed that it could not make a decision that involved an illegal demand to adjudicate “turf wars over territory”.

“The case is dismissed, but not without a whispered word of hope that perhaps, one day, we may find a solution that elevates all, leaving none to quarrel over crumbs. The heart of the court beat in sympathy with the strife and struggles of those compelled to seek charity,” the judge had observed in his order.

Published in Dawn, May 8th, 2024

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