LAHORE: “Who can you trust if a traffic warden turns out to be a swindler, making good with your valuables including cash and mobile phone while charging you over traffic rules violation,” said a truck driver Jahanzaib while talking to Pakistan Today on Wednesday.
HALT! TRAFFIC VIOLATION: Jahanzaib, a driver who works with Cargo United Goods and drives their truck (JU-7577) from Lahore to Karachi, said that late on Tuesday night he entered Lahore and was heading to wards his company’s office.
“As I reached near Garhi Shaho Chowk, a smart and handsome traffic warden, fair coloured, about 6 feet tall, on a private motorcycle, wearing uniform and carrying a wireless set, signalled him to stop,” said Jahanzaib.
TO THE POLICE STATION PLEASE: “I was a bit astonished and was trying to remember if I had violated a traffic rule when the warden suddenly ordered me to reverse the truck and head to Garhi Shaho Police Station, as I was challaned by his senior”, said Jahanzaib.
Jahanzaib’s partner Usman, who usually travels with Jahanzaib on long journeys, was ordered by the warden to sit along with him on his motorcycle to go to the police station, said Jahanzaib.
SOME MONEY COULD DO: Jahanzaib explained that while he was reversing his truck, Usman came back to the truck, while the warden remained standing at a distance, and told him that the warden was demanding money for letting them go.
“We did not have cash at that time. The warden took Usman’s mobile and started making his way on his motorcycle. We thought that the warden was suggesting that we should come to Garhi Shaho Police station to get the mobile back,” said Jahanzaib.
YOU’VE BEEN CONNED: After reaching Garhi Shaho Police Station, Jahanzaib came to know that no such traffic warden existed and the unknown man disguised as a traffic warden had managed to escape with their mobile phone.
AND THE SEARCH BEGINS: Jahanzaib contacted Munshi Yaseen of his goods company to come to his rescue.
Yaseen said met with an Inspector of City Traffic Police, Ghulam Mustafa, who after hearing the details radioed the news and ordered all traffic wardens to search for the unidentified con man. According to Yaseen, Inspector Mustafa and his subordinates during their search stopped a traffic warden and requested Jahanzaib and Usman to identify him.
Jahanzaib told inspector that this was not that traffic warden who swindled them.
NOT THE FIRST TIME: Inspector Mustafa while talking to this scribe on the phone said that they had received complaints of similar mishaps in which a traffic warden deprived a truck driver from valuables on Ring Road, another on GT Road and a citizen near Thokar Niaz Baig. He said usually such men marked vehicles coming from outside Lahore.
He however said that though the unknown man, who has looted mobile phone from Jahanzaib, was wearing City Traffic Police’s uniform but no one could say that the man really belonged to city traffic police.
“City Traffic Police’s uniform is available easily, so anyone could wear and conduct robberies in the guise of traffic wardens. We have already started searching for the swindler and his arrest will reveal the mystery about his identity,” he said.
NOT US: Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) Cap Mubeen said not a single traffic warden is involved in such activities and though they have not presented wardens in front of the victim party for identification but if local police after registering a case starts investigating the matter and asks them to present wardens for identification, they will surely help them.
Reporting by Shafiq Sharif, translation and editing by Moosa Abbas.