Rawalpindi crime rate spikes in 2008

December 29th, 2008 - 2:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Rawalpindi, Dec 29 (IANS) The crime rate in this garrison town adjacent to Pakistani capital Islamabad spiked alarmingly in 2008 with 288 people killed, 300 kidnapped and 1,500 deprived of their vehicles.The corresponding figures for 2007 were 219, 227 and 700 respectively. Similarly, 350 attempted murder cases were reported to the police compared with 329 cases reported last year, Daily Times said.

There was, however, a decrease in suicide bomb attacks with just three being reported to the police, claiming more than 88 lives, including the surgeon general of Pakistan Army Lt. Gen. Hafiz Mushtaq Ahmad. The year 2007 saw six suicide attacks that claimed over 140 lives.

Rawalpindi, a city of three million, is the headquarters of the Pakistani armed forces. The Islamabad international airport, also known as the Chaklala air base, is located here.

In 1951, Rawalpindi saw the assassination of the first elected prime minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan in Company Bagh now known as Liaquat Bagh Park. On Dec 27 2007, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated outside the very same park. Her father, former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was hanged in Rawalpindi in 1979.

Around 10 abandoned bodies were recovered from Rawalpindi this year compared with seven bodies last year. Around 10 people, including children, drowned in drains and open manholes in 2008. Gas leaks claimed over 10 lives this year.

Twenty-four cases of kidnapping for ransom were reported to police compared with 12 cases reported last year.

About 100 cases in which the city residents were robbed at gunpoint were reported to the police compared with 44 cases reported last year.

Over 500 cases of looting were reported in 2008 compared with 449 in 2007.

There were about 1,200 cases of theft and burglary compared with 800 cases reported last year. More than 2,400 cases of dishonoured cheques and fraud were reported this year, higher than the 2,100 cases in 2007.

About 150 policemen were suspended on different charges like laxity and corruption during 2008, while 30 policemen were booked and 10 others dismissed on different charges.

About 130 people lost lives in fatal road accidents compared with the 112 people the previous year. Over 11 people committed suicide in 2008 compared with seven last year.

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