About 300,000 passengers, including 7, 0000 women travels in the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) service every day that has given the status of Metropolitan City to Peshawar in the provincial government.
The citizens have been provided with the best facilities in summer and winter but during the last few months thieves and pickpockets plundering citizens due to that the travel of women in particular service has become unsafe.
Dozens of such incidents were reported during the last one month in some of which the accused were arrested. According to the Peshawar police seven female accused have been arrested within a week.
In the last few days, Town police station arrested four women from whom nine mobile phones and other valuable items were recovered, while Gharbi police station arrested three women who were stealing women’s mobile phones in the BRT bus.
The police recovered mobile phones and 25 thousand rupees in cash from the three accused. The police registered cases against the women arrested in both the cases and transferred them to the women police station.
Gangs of women pickpockets preyed only on female passengers, in some cases children were also present with pickpockets. According to the police, pickpocket women travel in BRT, covering their faces so that no one can catch them.
Sometimes they wear gowns or scarves like students and sit on the seats next to students, sometimes they use burqas. Incidents of mobile theft in BRT bus are high during rush hours. According to a woman from Peshawar, her wallet containing mobile phone and money was stolen last month. She told the media that my sister and I were going to Sadar bazar in the bus when someone took my wallet.
Since there was a rush, we were traveling standing instead of sitting. Whenever such incidents take place, the attitude of the police is very non-serious and despite the cases being registered nothing is recovered due to which doubts are raised about the police.
According to the said woman, the police is catching the thieves but the mobile phones have not been recovered. A student of Peshawar University is also among the affected women. She said that her mobile phone was taken out of her purse while going home from the university but she came to know about it after reaching home.
She said that earlier she felt very safe in BRT but after that incident she is scared. She said BRT is a cheap travel facility but it is very expensive at times when someone loots you. In this regard the position of the BRT administration is that most of the thefts occur during office hours or during student off to home.
If we have an incident report, we trace it with the help of CCTV inside the bus or provide video evidence to the police. But in spite of all this, the question is that why the police and the administration are not able to take advantage of the safe city project in the presence of thousands of CCT cameras and these crimes are increasing day by day.
In this regard when the police officials or the BRT officials are spoken to, they always report that everything is fine but the reality is the opposite, due to which the best bus service available to the citizens of the provincial capital is being defamed.
On the other hand, those who consider this service as a safe service for their women and school girls are now avoiding using this service during rush hours. Therefore, it is necessary that the top officials of the police and BRT should join hands for this long-standing problem and take practical measures so that this excellent service can be made safer for women.