DGK kidnappings: Ransom ends 5-month ordeal in Balochistan
DERA GHAZI KHAN: The residents of Wakeelwala village in Dera Ghazi Khan on Thursday got together at the house of Amjad and Mujahid to greet them on returning home safe five months after their kidnapping from Fort Munro.
Cousins Amjad and Mujahid were kept by kidnappers in Rakni, Balochistan, until their family successfully negotiated a deal with them for payment of a ransom.
Mujahid’s father Manzoor Hussain told The Express Tribune that they paid Rs700,000 to the kidnappers against an initial demand of Rs5 million.
He said some influential people of the area, who preferred to remain anonymous, took up their case after the police could make no headway in tracing the whereabouts of his son and nephew. He said after several rounds of negotiations through mediators in Rakni, the kidnappers settled at Rs700,000 as the ransom amount.
He said his son and nephew were kidnapped by a gang allegedly headed by one Allah Baksh Khetran that operates in the border areas of the two provinces.
Mujahid said they had gone to Fort Munro on the invitation of Mazhar alias Javed Lashari, who had befriended him during his return flight from Dubai, where he had a job, five months ago. He said Mazhar was in fact a member of Khetran’s gang. “We were taken to Rakni via Bewata,” he said. “He (Mazhar) had appeared to be a sincere man so I invited him over to dinner at my house. Later he called me and said he wanted to return the favour and invited me and my cousin to visit him in Fort Munro ,” Mujahid said.
He said he and his cousin were kept in Rakni in a single-storey house in dilapidated conditions. “Our room had no roof on it. We occasionally heard cries of people confined in other rooms of the house,” he said.
He said there were three housekeepers named Razzaq, Ghaffar and Fauji who used to serve food to them.
Dera resident Sheikh Yaseen who was also kidnapped and taken to Rakni over five months ago, has not been freed. His family cannot afford the kidnappers’ ransom demand of Rs2 million. They told The Tribune that they had staged several demonstrations in protest against Yaseen’s kidnapping but the Punjab police or the Balochistan police had yet to take notice of the incident.
They and other residents of Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur said that kidnapping-for-ransom gangs were operating freely in areas on the border of Punjab and Balochistan. They said several written complaints had been filed with the police in this regard.
The Dera Ghazi Khan district police officer told The Tribune most Dera residents were kidnapped from, and held in, areas falling in Balochistan and that they had already written a letter asking Balochistan police to take notice of the situation.