Don’t panic: Cops say rumours about organised abductions false

‘Citizens who take the law into their own hands will be dealt with as criminals’

‘Citizens who take the law into their own hands will be dealt with as criminals’ PHOTO: REUTERS

BAHAWALPUR: The police do not encourage vigilante justice, Additional SP Captain (r) Ghulam Murtaza said, while addressing journalists on Wednesday. “People who beat up kidnapping suspects will be sent behind bars.”

Murtaza said there was a rumour making rounds about a gang of kidnappers abducting children in the province.

“We have no evidence to support this claim and must consider it a false one,” he said. However, this rumour had created mass panic and fear, he said.

The police officer urged the media to inform citizens about what to do if they caught a kidnapping suspect. “Call the police,” he said. Citizens should call up 15 and report suspicious activity in their vicinity, he suggested. “A team of cops from your nearest police station will arrive promptly and take necessary action. Bahawalpur police are available round-the-clock at your service.”

Murtaza said no one was allowed to take law into their hands. “You will be treated as a criminal regardless of your intentions.”

On Monday, a man was surrounded and beaten up badly by a mob who had accused him of being a kidnapper. When Musafir Khana police had tried to intervene, the mob had blocked the road and held a demonstration against them.

“This adds fuel to people’s fears,” Murtaza said. “Not only had the protesters broken a dozen laws by thrashing that man, but they had inconvenienced commuters by blocking the road and burning tyres on it.”

He said the police had responded by registering a case against the protesters.

Similarly, a resident of Maqbool Colony had called 15 to report his daughter missing. Baghdadul Jadeed police had taken action in this regard and arrived at their house to investigate, he said. “However, the family had blocked Hasilpur Road and burnt tyres on it claiming that the police weren’t doing their job.”

Murtaza said the complaint had turned out to be a hoax and they had taken action against the protesters. “Citizens taking the law into their own hands do not help us in maintaining law and order or ensuring the security of children.”

The police officer urged citizens not to panic and to trust the police. “We have had 72 phones calls on 15 in the last month from people say they were worried about their children being kidnapped…none of those cases had turned out to be abductions.”

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