Lahore: 6 robbers gunned down in ‘fake encounter’
LAHORE: City police gunned down another six alleged robbers during a ‘staged encounter’ here in Satu Katla area in the wee hours of Sunday, police sources claimed. The sources revealed that the police had arrested these dacoits a couple of weeks ago from different parts of the province and staged a fake encounter to finish their episode, as they were hardened criminals and were involved in a number of incidents of robberies and murders. According to the police sources, a bird eye view of the dead bodies indicated that the alleged robbers had not taken bath for months as their hair and clothes were terribly dusty, which suggested that they might have been in police custody and were taken to the area to stage a late night encounter to close their chapter.
The police said that the robbers by setting up a picket were looting the passers-by when the police reached the spot and the encounter took place. The sources also pointed out that it was also highly unbelievable that the robbers were looting people in the wee hours during shivering cold but they were only wearing slippers. More interestingly, no policeman was hurt during the crossfire and all the robbers were killed on the spot within 10 minutes, according to the police officials. The police also claimed that the robbers opened fire with automatic weapons on them during the encounter but all the police officials remained unhurt.
“These police officials should be sent to Swat to fight against militants as, according to the police, they killed all the six most wanted robbers during crossfire yet no policeman sustained even a bruise,” a police source said while commenting on the efficiency on the Lahore police. The police staged the encounter in the suburbs of Lahore, Satu Katla, the area which was given this name after seven people were murdered in an incident decade ago, local residents said.
The sources further said that the Punjab government had given free hand to the police to kill the most wanted gangsters to maintain peace in the province. It is important to mention here that at least two–dozen robbers have been killed during encounters, which took place in different parts of Punjab during the last couple of months. Meanwhile, according to an official handout, the robbers were identified as the members of an inter-district gang involved in a number of cases of heinous crimes.
The police spokesman said that the robbers identified as Mukhtar alias Mitho, ringleader of the gang, Abdul Ghani, Manzoor alias Jhoori, Khalid Pervaiz alias Aali, Wazir Ali, and Rashid Ahmed alias Sheeda.
The government had announced Rs 300,000 as head money for the ringleader of this gang. The robbers had been committing the incidents of robberies and dacoities in Lahore, Kasur, Okara, Rahim Yar Khan, Toba Tek Singh, Sahiwal, Sheikhupura, Vehari, Bahawalnagar, Khanewal, Multan, Faisalabad and other districts of Punjab.
The police said that the robbers set up a picket near Bhobatiyan Chowk at Defense Road and started looting the passers-by at gunpoint late on Saturday night. The police received a call at Rescue Emergency (15). The Investigations police Satu Katla headed by In-charge Investigations Asad Muzaffar reached the spot soon after the message was radioed on the police wireless that some robbers were looting the people in the area.
As the police reached the spot, the robbers opened indiscriminate fire on the police with automatic weapons after witnessing their vehicle.
The policemen took positions and also retaliated. “When the fire was stopped, all the six robbers were lying dead side by side in the fields. The police also recovered automatic weapons from their possession,” the police spokesman said. The police have recovered a rifle (8MM), rifle (44 bore), two pistols, a gun and dozens of bullets from the crime scene, he added.
The police said that three accomplices of the bandits managed to escape during the crossfire. The police have removed the bodies to the city morgue for autopsy and are investigating. The police have also registered the case on the complaint of the In-charge Investigations Satu Katla police. The Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Pervaiz Rathore has announced cash prizes and commendatory certificates for the police team, his spokesman said.