Cattle thieves turn into dreaded terrorists
PESHAWAR: A gang of former cattle rustlers has gained notoriety as terrorists in the Peshawar suburbs as it claims responsibility for all violent acts in the area, according to officials. Known as Jangrez group, the gang has become a terror to the population since its members are wanted in 40 cases of terrorism but none has been caught so far.
“A group of about 14 people, led by Aurangzeb and Jangrez, it tops the list of carrying out terror acts. The group has so far killed and injured hundreds of people including law enforcers in suburban areas,” an official of rural circle said.
The latest case registered against the group pertained to an attack on the Frontier Constabulary post at Janay Khwar, near Matani, on Monday night. According to the source, the group is facing cases for attacks on Adezai Qaumi Lashkar, police and different government installations.
“There are some other criminals, who commit crimes in the area and attack police, but cases are registered against Jangrez group as it claims responsibility for every crime,” the official said.
About the background of the group, Adezai Qaumi Lashkar chief Dilawar Khan said that Aurangzeb, his brother Jangrez and other members of their group were basically small-time thieves.
They used to steal goats, sheep and rob solitary passengers on pathways in the area, he said.
According to him the group gained prominence when Taliban assigned it a `duty` to carry out sabotage acts in Peshawar.
“They (the group members) can now strike wherever they want as they have resources. We know how to deal them but government is unwilling to support us,” he said.
Fazal Malik, the deputy head of Adezai Qaumi Lashkar, also said that the group started its activities as cattle thieves before establishing ties with militants.
He said that Aurangzeb and Jangrez had been active in the area since 2003. He added that they were also wanted by police in several cases of kidnapping for ransom and snatching of motorcars.
“The group was involved in the suicide bombing at a cattle market in Matani in 2009 wherein scores of people including my father Haji Abdul Malik, who was nazim of Adezai union council, had been killed,” he said.
He added that the group members were also responsible for suicide attack at a funeral in Adezai in March 2011.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Sajjad Khan, when contacted, said that the group was named in dozens of cases but its members could not be arrested because they shifted to tribal regions.
He said that members of the group knew about the area as they belonged to Adezai village and had contacts with local people.
“They are informed by their informants about the movement of security personnel and peace bodies,” he added.
He said that peace bodies should be established in all localities to keep close liaison with police for taking action against terrorists.
He added that role of special branch was also very vital to keep vigil on movement of suspected elements.
He said that police were trying to arrest those miscreants but they managed to flee easily to the nearby tribal areas. “Kalakhel, Pakhi Parezi, Tor Sapar, Khurma Tangi areas of FR Peshawar and Khyber Agency are situated near Peshawar from where militants can easily enter the settled areas,” he added.
The DSP did not rule out presence of militants` facilitators in settled areas, saying police had friends and foes in every locality and their opponents could join hands with anti-state elements.
The best solution according to him is induction of local communities in special police or peace bodies so that they can timely inform police to conduct raids against militants.
“The area and its border with tribal region are so vast that police with its limited resources cannot chase miscreants round the clock,” he said.