The clutches of the law have proven to be as tender as butterfingers as criminals continue to flee from police custody. Several cases have been reported over the past few months where the accused who were brought to the courts for case hearings managed to escape from court premises, leaving the policemen scratching their heads.
In a recent such case of police negligence, eight criminals listed in several cases escaped from the Lower Mall District Court Bakshi Khana on Thursday. The Sandha police on Friday got their hands on one of the runaways, Nadeem, however, seven others are still at large.
Operationalising an escape from the ‘tight’ clutches of the police is far easier than one may expect it to be. Sources report that when the accused are brought to the courts for hearing, they are usually welcomed by their friends and relatives already present at the courts, aspiring to have some private time with their mates. The relatives and friends of the accused, well aware of the policemen’s corrupt reputation, try to bribe their way in without any hesitation.
Sources report that the policemen escorting the accused to the court usually make a settlement with the visitors on a nominal bribe of Rs 200 to Rs 400, allowing the under-trial prisoners to meet their friends privately in an isolated corner in the court’s premises. If the policemen are offered a higher bribe, they even unchain the criminals, sources said. It is during these unchained moments when the accused plan out an escape and operationalise it there and then while the bribed policemen intentionally keep a blind eye to the escape.
A similar modus operandi was followed by the eight men who were brought to the court for hearing on Thursday. The eight men, accused of involvement in various serious cases, including robberies, made use of a dilapidated section of the boundary wall of the Lower Mall District Court. They found the wall missing a few bricks, took their time to tear the wall down some more and fled!
Right after their escape, the on-duty police officials started searching the accused without informing their high-ups. As soon as DIG Rai Tahir came to know about the incident, he dismissed Sub Inspector Sanaullah and other on-duty policemen for their negligence and filed an FIR against them.
However, while many criminals who managed to escape from police custody are still at large, police continues to assure the masses that they are doing their best to curb crimes.
To cite a few more cases, a few months ago, a criminal escaped from the Mozang Police Station after doing away with the lock-up’s bars, while three criminals fled the Model Town Courts, following the above cited modus operandi.
The story does not end here…
Sources report that the city policemen have close links with criminals operating in the city. They said that in some cases the policemen took bribe to inform the criminals of upcoming raids so that they could ensure their escape.
On the other hand, according to police reports, the police are doing its best. In March 2013, the city police busted 148 gangs, arresting 143 men listed in several cases and seized a good amount of arms and sophisticated weapons. The report also says that police have arrested 682 criminals who had escaped from courts. It remains to be seen when the runaway criminals would be netted again!