UT cops yet to nab 2,737 proclaimed offenders
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From murder, cheating, trespass, criminal intimidation to the Arms Act, there are a total of 2,737 proclaimed offenders (POs) involved in heinous crimes who are yet to be arrested by Chandigarh Police. At large, these offenders are wanted by the "we care for you" brigade which has till now been unable to nab them. Though Chandigarh Police claims that "more effective steps" are being taken by the force to arrest the POs, figures speak otherwise. For, the number of POs is increasing every year.
Consider this: till last year there were 2,615 POs to be apprehended by the police. While the cops have been able to arrest only 62 this year, 184 more have added to the list of POs this year alone. Of all the police stations, the Sector 17 police station (587) has the maximum number of POs to be arrested. The Manimajra police station is second on the list with 354 to be arrested, and the Sector 34 police station stands third with 353 still at large (See box).
As demanded, Chandigarh Police has supplied the relevant data on POs to the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The data has been furnished pursuant to directions of the High Court. Justice R K Garg had taken a suo motu notice of the alarming number of POs in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.
Converting a single case demanding arrest of a proclaimed offender into a public interest litigation (PIL), Justice Garg had taken suo motu cognisance of the issue and referred the matter to a division bench for adjudication. Anguished over the protracted delay being caused by the police in arresting proclaimed offenders, the Court had slammed the Chandigarh Police for its "casual approach" towards arrest of POs.
During the resumed hearing, Chandigarh Police has filed an affidavit. It has been stated that "as per records, 422 POs have been identified who had been involved in petty offences. Moreover, there is no clue about them since long time".
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