Sihala police’s permission to stranger drum-beaters raises public concerns

Amidst public concern in an unprecedented way, Sihala police allowed in-writing, a drum-beaters’ party to operate in Model Town Hummak to awake people for Sehri.
The people of the area have already expressed their safety concerns associated with this kind of activity as a number of untoward incidents of theft and dacoities were reported.
The permit, a copy of which is available with APP, ensures the activity as a “good deed” allowing to a party which was refused to operate in DHA in pretext of security concerns.
Last Thursday, a delegation of Model Town Humak had visited the police station with the complaint that some unknown motorcyclists have started roaming in the streets around two hours before Sehri time, carrying drums with prime objective to get food or money for Sehri by knocking at doors.
The police was informed that such a practice was causing great nuisance and creating sense of insecurity among the residents due to previously occurred unpleasant incidents in the vicinity.
Duty officer at the police station assured the delegation that the matter would be brought into the notice of high-ups for further consideration.
He also shared that a party had approached the police station seeking permission to operate in Defence Housing Authority, adjoining the Model Town, but it was denied because it would be “tantamount to giving them a licence to theft and dacoity.”
On Friday night, the suspicious motorcyclists appeared again, who do not seem to be local and residing in Khanna bridge area. They were stopped by the residents and handed over to police being strangers in the area without any reference. But, surprisingly next day same group of people reappeared with police’s written permission, confirming residents’ doubts over police and mafia’s nexus.
Narrating an episode, a fearful resident, who does not want to be named, said last Wednesday night he and his family members were awakened panically due to a long buzz of the door-bell around 1:30 a.m. “There were two persons at the door, one was peeping in and the other was keeping an eye on the street. Just imagine the scene” he added. On inquiry, they said they were ‘Dhol Walay’ (drum-beaters) and needed some food for Sehri.
Zaheer Ahmed, a senior advocate, said setting aside public concerns and issuing such a permit was irrational act, “raising question over police’s role in this regard”.
A resident Zahid Shah said, the drum-beating at the Sehri time was a good tradition but those people operating in the area were locals and since long familiar with the locality. “Allowing perfect strangers in the area is a matter of great concern”.
Meanwhile, the residents have requested Inspector General of Islamabad Police Dr Sultan Azam Temuri to look into the matter and ensure their safety.—APP

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