Muzaffarabad: Gang of criminals busted
MUZAFFARABAD: Police in Azad Kashmir’s southernmost Bhimber district on Wednesday claimed to have busted an inter- provincial gang of criminals involved in several cases of theft, kidnapping for ransom and carjacking. The arrests were made after three months of hectic investigations and raids at different places in Azad Kashmir and the rest of the country but a former member of district council Bhimber who had masterminded these crimes was still at large, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Bhimber Kamran Ali told Dawn by telephone.
Identifying the main accused as Raja Abdul Qayyum alias Pir Sahib, he said hunt for him had been intensified by the police although some “very important personalities” of AJK were trying to shelter him. Responding to questions, he said the Bhimber police launched efforts to nab the gang after a British national of Kashmiri origin Saghir Mughal lodged a report with them about his abduction and release against his Land Cruiser worth Rs2.5 million and Rs600,000 in cash in ransom.
Mr Mughal was abducted by accused Azmat Rabbani from Bhimber rest house on March 25 using a vehicle which the gang had snatched from Kotli in February. Rabbani had impersonated as an army captain during the kidnapping, he added.
The ASP said over the past three months the police teams had picked up around 16 persons from different areas of Pakistan and AJK who were believed to have any direct or indirect link with the crime. The last detainee was Rabbani who was arrested from Islamabad on Tuesday. An army uniform and a 30-bore pistol and some other things were also recovered from him, he added. Four of the accused persons, the ASP said, were still in their custody whereas the rest had been freed on bail.