Karachi: Notorious gangster of Bhalu group arrested
KARACHI: The police arrested a wanted suspect belonging to a notorious gang of criminals in Peerabad on Sunday. Abdul Kabir, a close aide of Mehfoozullah, popularly known as Bhalu Bhai, was arrested and a huge cache of weapons, ammunitions and CCTV cameras were seized by the Counter–Terrorism Wing personnel. Mehfoozullah is a former activist of a political party. A police team, headed by SSP Raja Umer Khattab, launched a search operation in Peerabad late Saturday night but the law enforcers came under heavy fire, which was retaliated. After a brief encounter, a wanted criminal, Abdul Kabir, was arrested while his accomplices, including Bhalu, escaped into the narrow lanes under the cover of fire. Weapons were also seized from Kabir.
During interrogation, the suspect told the police about another hideout near Kati Pahari, where the group stored weapons and ammunition in case of raids by the police or Rangers.
The police team then raided the hideaway and seized five Kalashnikovs, one G3 rifle, a 9mm pistol, two repeaters, a revolver, one bulletproof jacket, two walkie-talkie sets and a telescope. Around 800 bullets of various calibers were seized. Six CCTV cameras and a rotator used to move cameras, which were installed near the hideout, were also taken down.
The police had expanded the intelligence network on information regarding the presence of many terrorists and soaring lawlessness in the area, Khattab said.
The Bhalu Bhai group, consisting of 15 to 20 members, has been active in the Mohammed Pur area of Kati Pahari in recent years. The gang members have been involved in a number of targeted killings, extortion and other crimes. The group has a vast network in the area and has even dug trenches at the hill side.
The group had installed CCTV cameras throughout the area to monitor the movement of law enforcement personnel and whenever the security forces attempted to enter the area, they faced severe resistance and the suspects always managed to escape.
Kabir told the police that the Bhalu gang was frequently approached by prominent groups to kill people in Karachi. Last week, another close associate of Bhalu, Bilal alias Tension, was arrested from Peerabad by police and he had also named many influential personalities that provided names to target people.
The suspect claimed that Bhalu, who hailed from Kala Dhaka, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, formed the gang after leaving the political party two years ago when he was a rickshaw driver.
Bhalu was a former member of political party, which dominated the area. People were scared of him due to his affiliation with the party and provided information to the group regarding the movement of law enforcers, he added.
Kabir admitted that the group extorted money on monthly basis from 200 of the 350 marble factories in the area.
Recently, the suspect claimed, Bhalu had hired the leader of a major drug peddling group in Qasba Colony, Irfan, to lead his extortion group. The criminals usually demanded extortion on phones and if the trader refused to pay the money, they threw hand grenades at their factories or shops or fired at them to warn them, Kabir told the police.