The deteriorating law and order situation in Punjab in general and particularly in Ludhiana – the industrial capital of Punjab has been causing a great concern among the business community and the peace-loving citizens.
The crime situation in Ludhiana is rapidly deteriorating and not a day passes without the happening of a major incident of daylight robberies, rapes and snatchings.
In fact, such incidents have become the order of the day. There is no fear of the police among the criminals who can snatch your car at gunpoint without any difficulty, mobile phone, snatch gold chains and purses of women.
Shockingly the incidents of raping minor girls in the backward areas of the town have increased beyond proportions. The innocent minor girls ranging from the age of two years to five years have shocked the residents of the labour colonies like Daba Road, Shimlapuri, Basti Jodhewal and Salim Tabri.
The month of April, in particular, has witnessed an unprecedented rise in the cases of rape and murder. The criminals have become so bold that they kidnap a minor or young girl during the daylight and rape them and later kill them to finish the evidence.
The migratory labourers who have come to the industrial town from states like UP and Bihar are the worst sufferers because both the male and female members go to the work to earn a livelihood and leave their children in their shabby houses. The criminals take advantage of the absence of the parents and lure the minor girls and rape them.
In a shocking incident, tenants of a landlord in the EWS colony kidnapped a 26 years old married woman and took her to the roof and after gangraping, threw her from the rooftop and she was killed on the spot. Such is the law and order situation in Ludhiana.
The industrial workers who get their wages from the employers in the industrial areas and the focal point between 7th to 10th of every month are waylaid in the evening while they are returning to their houses.
Avtar Singh, President, Chamber of Industrial and Commercial undertakings who represent the whole of the industry of Ludhiana has expressed his concern over the deteriorating law and order situation in the town and industrial areas in particular. He says that there is no fear of the police among the criminals.
Enquiries have revealed that police does not bother to register the complaints of the victims. Rather they have to bribe the police in the thanas.
For crimes like snatching of purses, Gold chains and Cars, Ferozepur Road, Sarabha Nagar Market, Rajguru Nagar Market, Udham Singh Nagar and Rishi Nagar – which are posh localities have become notorious. Ferozepur road has been declared zero tolerance road to ensure smooth traffic and check violation of traffic rules. A number of traffic cops are seen on duty but despite that crimes are taking place in that area. There are two big malls on Ferozepur road and criminals snatch cars at gunpoint without any fear of the police presence. A large number of marriage palaces are also located on Ferozepur highway and Pakhowal road and cars are stolen and even kidnappings have taken place to seek ransom. During the marriage season, Ferozepur road and Pakhowal road are choked with traffic and the authorities keep their eyes closed.
Ludhiana has been declared safe city by the state government. But nothing is safe here.
J S Aulakh who has taken over as Police Commissioner of Ludhiana only a few weeks ago is trying to tighten the security and also the police force is being revamped. He has promised to improve the situation soon. He is a seasoned police officer and has good experience of tackling such situations.
Ludhiana has also witnessed some political murders – latest being the killing of Mata Chand Kaur wife of late Namdhari Guru Baba Jagjit Singh. The state police have announced a reward of Rs. 20 lakhs for the culprits but so far no arrest has been made. Earlier too one Namdhari leader was killed at Katani last year but even that case remains untraced till now.