Wah cantt - As Eidul Fitr is just a few days ahead, the police officials in twin cities of Taxila and Wah Cantt have beefed up their money extortion drive from public transporters especially from motorcyclists on the pretext of “Eidi”.

Motorcyclists and commuters especially drivers of the inter-city and inter-district public transport complained that like successive years, the local traffic police cops have again launched their money making spree to collect illegal gratifications on the pretext of “Eidi”. They complained that the police officials by establishing pickets on different roads, including Museum road Jhang Bhattar road, HMC road, Wah Garden, Mohra Chowk, Sarai Kala Chowk, Bhallar tope, Ahatta and Jandail Chowk were fleecing them on the pretext of checking documents.

A number of drivers of public transport who are running their vehicles on the different inter-city and inter-district routes said that policemen also signaled them on various routes and when they showed all the required documents to them, the cops shamelessly asked them to give them some money as Eidi. And the ill-fated people have no option except to pay Eidi otherwise they would not be allowed to go and face heavy penalty. Commuters, transporters and drivers also complained of the humiliating behavior of the policemen, as cops abused and manhandled a number of people just to pressurise them.

On the other hand, motorcyclists are being main target of the police cops who fleeced them on different pretexts to extort Eidi. An insider cop told this reporter on condition of anonymity that every police station has given assignment to impound 100 motorcycle before Eid to show progress to bigwigs while ground realities differ as they impound each and every motorcycle to show their progress.

The big wings of police department claimed that they had taken strict security arrangements and increased patrolling in the city during Ramazan in order to avert any untoward incident. Therefore, the policemen on mobile vans, private cars as well as on motorbikes are being seen patrolling at every corner of the city but their primary concern is something else.

Cops were seen stopping vehicles particularly public transport busy in checking documents and demanding bribe in the name of Eidi. It is widely believed that the bribe or extortion taken by the police contain substantial share of their high-ups and due to this reason authorities of the police department have not taken any action against those involved in doing this. Meanwhile, a senior police officer, when contacted, conceded that some personnel of lower cadre of police were involved in taking bribe from people in the name of Eidi.

“We have several times asked people to come forward and bring any such incident into our notice. We will take strict departmental action against any policemen found involved in any kind of criminal activity,” he added.