Lahore: Dozens arrested as police crack down on criminals
LAHORE: Punjab Police have launched a crackdown on activists of banned outfits and hardened criminals in different cities of the province, during which the city police made dozens of arrests and shifted them to undisclosed locations for interrogation, Daily Times learnt on Sunday. According to sources, the decision to launch the operation was made at a high-level meeting after gunmen recently ambushed security forces in Lahore and Gujrat, leaving more than a dozen men dead. The police also started search operation on Saturday night across the city after receiving information that terrorists had entered Lahore and planned to target sensitive buildings.
The sources said that the city police arrested several suspects during search operation in Civil Lines, Qilla Gujjar Singh, Baghbanpura, Mughalpura, Chung, Hanjarwal, Manga Mandi, Nishtar Colony, Nawankot, Sherakot, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Ravi Road, Shafiqabad, Gulshan-e–Ravi, Township, Green Town, Sabzazar Scheme, Ghaziabad and Raiwind.
About the suspects’ identification, sources said the police had raided different Afghan and Pakhtun areas, as well as the guesthouses and hotels near Lorry Adda and Railway Station.
Some locals, who might be involved in facilitating terrorists, had also been held during the search operation, a source said.
Meanwhile, the arrested men being kept at Lower Mall Police Station protested against the discriminatory attitude of the authorities, and said that after any major incident in the city, the police arrested Pushto-speaking people in the name of a search operation.
According to well-placed sources in the police department, latest technology was being used in the massive search operation in the city, in collaboration with the secret agencies.
They said that police were very close to arresting terrorists and criminals involved in target killings and firing on police pickets across Punjab.
They said that the police had also launched a search operation in Gujranwala, Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin, Jhang, Shorkot, Multan, Khanewal, Toba Tek Singh, Bahawalnagar, Rahim Yar Khan, Jhelum and other cities, and arrested hundreds of suspects.
Sources said that most of the arrested men belonged to Afghanistan, adding that the crackdown was launched to check the activities of banned organisations, like their meetings, memberships, recruitments, display of flags and delivery of provocative speeches.
They said organisations like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, under the aegis of Tehreek–e–Taliban Pakistan, which were involved in recent terror attacks, were the main targets of the crackdown.
Intelligence sources believe that it is not possible for the TTP to send militants from Waziristan to Punjab since the blockade of all covert passages linking Punjab to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and massive checking on roads.