KARACHI: Police have arrested several beggars from the streets of Karachi and have raised suspicions that children accompanying them might not be their own and could have been kidnapped.
To verify the suspicion, the police is planning to carry out DNA tests of the children and the arrested adult beggars.
According to an article by Geo News, the police, in collaboration with 10 agencies, have initiated a joint investigation to launch a crackdown on the beggar mafia in the city.
Karachi police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon told the outlet that some important decisions have been taken in this regard.
“The Sindh government’s Social Welfare Department, the Child Protection Authority, Roshni Helpline, Saylani Welfare Trust, the Anti-Violent Crime Cell, Traffic Police, and other organisations are collaborating with the police,” he said.
According to Ghulam Nabi Memon, there is growing evidence that Karachi beggars are involved in several criminal activities, including drug trafficking.
“Most of these beggars do not belong to the native population of the city. They either speak Seraiki and have been involved in the begging ‘profession’ for many generations, or belong to the Bengali or Burmese ethnic groups,” the police chief said, adding that many of them are also foreign citizens, with a large number of them being Afghans.
“During our meeting with different organisations, we raised our suspicion about the children accompanied by these beggars and have decided to carry out DNA tests to find out if the children have been abducted,” he said.
In many of the cases, beggars deliberately amputate [the limbs and hands] of the abducted children so that they could use them as tools in their begging business.
According to the Karachi Police chief, under the supervision of the Social Welfare Department in the city, facility centres and shelter homes have been made available in Korangi and Malir districts where complete accommodation and food facilities will be provided to beggars and their children.
“An anti-begging unit is also being activated across the city, under which the first phase of the pilot project is soon being launched to make Karachi a no-beggar zone,” Ghulam Nabi Memon said.