ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Police apprehended hundreds of beggars from different corners of the capital during an operation last week. However beggars who are at work inside the F-8 Kutchery Islamabad are yet to be proceeded against. The operation was started on the direction of police high-ups who took the notice of the notorious activities of the beggars. However they have not taken notice of what is happening inside the Kutchery so far. The whole capital has witnessed a marked surge in the activities of beggars. A large number of people do not have access to even basic facilities, which may be an ample excuse for these people to become beggars. District courts need special attention of the government. The growing number of beggars has become a much-discussed issue among lawyers, the judicial staff and the citizens as they fear that an influx of beggars in the district courts might result in some terror attacks. A senior lawyer, Sidra Gulzar said, while exclusively talking to Daily Times that she wondered what the policemen deployed at the entry gates of the Kutchery were doing when beggars in such a large number were seen roaming around adding that the growing number of beggars inside the Kutchery was alarming because it posed serious security threats. An ASI deployed at one of the entrance gates of the Islamabad Kutchery told Daily Times that the policemen control the entry and exit of people at the entry gates but it was very difficult to identify beggars as they entered in disguise. A senior official of the Islamabad Police told this scribe that the ICT police had launched many crackdowns against the beggars but the arrests were pointless because begging had become so profitable for these beggars that they did not care about arrest or imprisonment. He said that most of the beggars were working in groups and they protected each other. Police have busted many gangs, and many of them were punished by courts under 9 & 10 Act of Begging but after some time they again regroup and start their ‘business’ again. “Begging is punishable by up to three years in Pakistan and anti-beggar squads were formed to prevent begging but it is beyond the capacity of the police to stop beggars from this lucrative activity,” a senior lawyer Muhammad Arif Advocate said. Another senior lawyer and former president Islamabad Bar Association, Chaudhry Khalid told Daily Times that he had fought a case of some beggars a few months ago and he had requested to the judicial magistrate that instead of imposing some kind of penalty on these poor people, do something for their welfare as begging was not a sheer offense, fairly the poor are bound to beg to make both ends meet. He said that beggars should be sent to welfare centres or to technical education institutions so that they could master a skill to earn a living for their families. For Advocate Khalid, it comes under the responsibility of the government to adopt certain measures for the welfare of the poor so that they might not opt for beggary.