Daily Jang reports that two motorcycle riding thugs tried to snatch cell phone from a guy in car with his family. The person opened fire at them and fled from the scene with his family. One of the prospective snatcher is dead while other is injured. Police registered the case and is searching for the guy who apparently shot in self defense.
The news item was reported in yesterday’s news updates. I haven’t found anything about it in today’s online papers. Also it hasn’t been reported in the blogosphere yet. I find this news disturbing as it clearly indicates citizens are trying to fight back crime by themselves, and that by using force. Karachites are so depressed and frustrated by increasing crime rate and lack of action from the law enforcement agencies, that they are taking it up to their hands, whenever possible. If the trend continues it will lead to more anarchy and chaos.
South Africans have a history of organized crime somewhat similar to Pakistan. Frustrated with crime and seeking alternative ways to protect themselves from criminals, they started to fight crime with crime:
Over the past few years, parts of South Africa have witnessed the emergence of a strong community reaction against crime. Just two years after the 1994 election, criminals were holding communities to ransom and the government was seen to be failing to protect its citizens. The communityâ€™s reaction to the stateâ€™s percieved failure was demonstrated in the Northern Province and the Western Cape where there has been strong support for a harsh and swift response to criminals as advocated by Mapogo-a-Mathamaga and Pagad (People against gangsterism and drugs) respectively. Their actions, although supported by many, have been described as vigilantism characterised by:
* Acts of severe violence including the serious assault and murder of alleged criminals.
* Punishment that often exceeds the crime allegedly committed.
* Engaging in illegal acts such as kidnappings, crimen injuria, malicious damage to property, theft, robbery and sabotage.
* Alleged perpetrators being accosted by highly charged mobs.
* The lack of a clear structure, rules and limitations in the way the vigilante organisation operates.
* The absence of communication lines between the groups and state organs such as the police.
In one form or another, vigilante groups exist throughout South Africa. Supporters of vigilantism argue that the high level of crime and the governmentâ€™s perceived failure to curb crime, necessitates strong action from communities. Some of the known vigilante groups are the Umfelandawonye in the Eastern Cape, Mapogo-a-Mathamaga in the Northern Province, and Pagad, PEACA and taxi associations in the Western Cape.
This happens when people loose their faith on the Government to curb crime and provide security to citizens.
In a recent poll readers held Government and its agencies responsible for the high crime rate in Karachi.
… and this leads to an interesting question, ‘what are criminals are made of?‘