Kidnapping rumours: 63 suspects handed to police found innocent
LAHORE: The Police Department has documented 63 incidents in August where those caught and given in police custody on suspicion of involvement in kidnappings were released after preliminary investigations.
Operations AIG Shahzada Sultan told The Express Tribune that no evidence was found against these people establishing their involvement in any kidnapping case.
Sultan said there had been a surge in such incidents. However, he said, he could not establish the claim because the department had not maintained data of such incidents in the previous months.
He said rumours about child kidnapping had caused unrest and fear among the public.
He said the police were taking several measures to counter these rumours. He said the DPOs had been directed to share details of all false and unverified reports with the media. He said the department was also using its public relations branch and various social media sites for the purpose.
Sultan said they had also approached some bloggers and requested them to share facts about the matter with the public.
In Lahore alone, the police had received 32 prank calls about child kidnapping on its 15 helpline during the month. Sultan said the city police had registered 14 FIRs against those involved in making such calls or in incidents of vigilante violence.
Operations DIG Haider Ashraf said they were holding meetings with elected representatives to solicit their help in countering rumours about child kidnappings. He said meetings were also underway with administrations of schools and with prayer leaders at mosques for the purpose.
RPO meets civil society, media
Acting Bahawalpur RPO Gohar Mushtaq Bhutta held a meeting with media and civil society organisations on Sunday to urge them to help the police counter rumours about child kidnappings.
He said 57 false kidnapping reports had been received at the 15 helpline from January 1, 2016, to July 31, 2016, and 13 in this month alone.
He urged the public to ignore rumors about child kidnapping and to turn to the police for accurate information. He said no one would be allowed to take the law in their hands.
The RPO said that this year 106 cases of child abduction had been registered in Bahawalpur; 42 in Rahim Yar Khan and two in Bahawalnagar districts. He said that children had been recovered and reunited with their families in all cases except one in Rahim Yar Khan.