Lahore: 2 suspects killed in ‘encounter’
LAHORE: Two alleged criminals were killed in a suspected police encounter near Mian Plaza in Johar Town early on Saturday. Witnesses said blindfolded suspects were shot in, what appeared to be a planned encounter, but police claimed the suspects were killed after they violated a police signal to stop and fired at police.
Johar Town police claimed three robbers snatched a car from Fawad in Sabzazar on last Friday evening and later deprived a couple of cash and jewellery in Green Town police limits at around 1.30am on Saturday.
At the time of the second incident, robbers were five and they used the snatched car. Police cordoned off the areas of Township, Green Town, Johar Town and Sattokatla after receiving an emergency call by the couple.
A police team at a picket on Johar Town Main Boulevard signaled a car to stop at around 2am near Ashiq Chowk, but the car occupiers tried to escape while opening fire on the police.
A shootout took place between two sides in which two suspects were killed instantly. The three other suspects escaped on foot while exchanging fire with the police. Police said its personnel remained safe in the shooting. The victims suffered bullets to their chests and faces.
Police seized the car, weapons, some jewellery and a cell phone from the spot.
Saddar SP (Operations) Shoaib Khurram said the suspects were wanted by the police of Lahore, Okara, Narowal and Sheikhupura in at least 100 cases of dacoity, robbery, street crime and police encounters.
He said a search operation was launched in nearby Bheer village to trace the runaway suspects.
However, a witness, who was close to the scene, told Dawn that he and his brother were returning home when they saw come policemen and officials in plainclothes standing on a road near Johar Town Main Boulevard at around 2.15am.
He said they also stopped at some distance to see two blind-folded people with their hands tied were being dragged by cops towards an empty plot.
He said policemen pushed the victims to the ground and opened indiscriminate fire on them.
Meanwhile, the police shifted the bodies to a hospital for autopsies and identified them as 23–year–old Rizwan Ashraf of Okara and 35-year-old Abdul Aziz of Narowal. A case has been registered.