18 members of inter-provincial gangs arrested in Mirpur
MUZAFFARABAD: The Azad Kashmir (AJK) police have apprehended 18 members of three inter-provincial gangs of hardened criminals involved in dozens of robberies and murders in Mirpur division and the adjoining areas of the Punjab. The deputy commissioner of Mirpur, Masoodur Rehman, and SSP ChMunir Ahmed told Dawn via telephone that the gangs, one of which was being guided from the district jail Mirpur, had divested the people of Mirpur of peace with their criminal activities over the last year. Police recovered 8 pistols, 17 mobile phones, police uniforms, fake official green number plates of Punjab and AJK, and 47 motorbikes from their possession, they said. The criminals were busted by a special team of Mirpur police, led by additional SP Irfan Salim, after weeks of strenuous efforts, the officials said. One of the gangs, which had two locals as informers, had planned to strike at a jewellery shop in Mirpur on Saturday by impersonating as policemen, the officials said. The group confessed to committing more than 20 robberies and four murders in the Punjab.
The criminals were identified by the police as AbidBaloch (Gujranwala), MohsinIqbal (Multan), ZahoorSaghar (Sargodha), Halim Khan and BasharatManzoor (Rawalpindi), SohailAkram (Khaniwal) Mohammad Yasin (Lahore), Sajjad Shah (Nankana Sahib), Kabir Shah and Rashid (Barnala), Imran Bashir and Mohammad Naeem (Bhimber), MahmoodHussain, Sharif, Mustafa Shah and Mohammad Idrees (Mirpur), AbrarQurban (Dadyal) and Zahid Bashir (Kotli).
The deputy commissioner maintained that in most crimes, non Kashmiris were involved, which was why the administration had repeatedly asked the people not to rent out their houses to outsiders without verification.
He said the administration was putting in place an effective checking system at both entry and exit points of Mirpur.
When questioned about the involvement of prisoners in various crimes, the SSP remarked that the Mirpur jail had become a hub of criminal activities and the police were contemplating a formal request to the district magistrate to order installation of jammers in prisons in order to prevent the use of cellular phones by the inmates.