Lahore: 2 accused gunned down in ‘staged’ encounter: Kidnap for ransom
LAHORE: Two alleged members of a kidnappers’ gang were killed in an ‘encounter’ with the Crimes Investigation Agency (police) of the City division, while three others were apprehended near Bhubtian Chowk in the limits of Sattokatla police on Monday, a handout claimed.
However, according to a police source, the CIA police had arrested all the accused within three to four days of the incident and killed two of them in a ‘planned shootout’ on Monday morning.
It is interesting to note that not a single policeman was injured in the alleged encounter. The police handout said Hassan Rana, an engineer of a private television channel, was kidnapped from Iqbal Town on July 29, and the kidnappers’ demanded Rs5 million from his family for his release.
On the direction of Capital City Police Officer Muhammad Pervez Rathore, DIG (investigation) Mushtaq Ahmad Sukhera constituted a team to trace the culprits.
CIA City Division officers remained in contact with the victim’s family and briefed them on how to handle the kidnappers’ calls.
On the other hand, the teams under supervision of the City CIA DSP and Cantonment CIA DSP conducted raids at the criminals’ possible hideouts.
The victim’s family members were so terrified because of the kidnappers’ threats that they were ready to pay the ransom without involving police in the matter. The criminals, however, freed Hassan Rana on August 3 after receiving Rs850,000.
During investigation, the victim informed police that the kidnappers had taken him to a village near Dipalpur and that a PTCL tower was located in front of the house where he was detained.
With the help of that information, the CIA Iqbal Town DSP traced one of the kidnappers, Abdul Sattar. The police also planted an informer who persuaded Abdul Sattar to come to Lahore for another crime, the handout claimed.
The police arrested Sattar on August 10 when he came to Lahore, and during the preliminary interrogation he confessed to his involvement in as many as 50 incidents of dacoity and robbery in various cities.
He also disclosed that the rest of his accomplices — Hafiz Ramzan, Shafiq and Akhtar alias Lukhy — were also arriving in the city on a Suzuki car (LRS-2697).
On this tip-off, the CIA teams set up pickets at Riawind and Multan Road. According to the handout, as the three suspects reached at the Raiwind picket, the police signaled them to stop. The suspects opened fire on police and tried to escape. The police started chasing them and a shootout ensued, resulting in the death of Hafiz Ramzan and Shafiq. However, Akthar managed to escape, the handout said.
Police also claimed to have recovered five pistols, a Kalashnikov, two stolen cars and Rs235,000 of the ransom money from their possession.
Those arrested include Abdul Sattar, Munir Ahmad and Sardar Jaffer. Police claimed that around 31 cases had been traced against Ramzan in Lahore, Pakpattan and Bhawalnagar. Meanwhile, owner of a factory located on Raiwind Road told Dawn that as he was going to the factory he witnessed two police vehicles at around 7:30am near Bhubtian Chowk.
“Some policemen alighted from the vehicles along with two blindfolded men whose hands were tied. The police then removed the folds from their eyes and told them to run. As soon as they started running, the police sprayed bullets on them, killing them both on the spot,” he said.
The bodies of the accused had been shifted to the city mortuary for autopsy. The DIG (investigation) and the CIA SP were not available for their comments.