An assistant sub-inspector (ASI) of the Rawalpindi police was killed on Sunday in an early morning encounter with proclaimed offenders and absconders in a rural part of Chontra, police officials said.
Four men wanted on charges of murder, attempted murder, terrorism, theft and robbery were also killed in the encounter, the police officials added.
Faisal Amir, Taj Muhammad, Muhammad Ameer and Sajid Mehmood were killed during the shootout at the home of their accomplice Malik Pervaiz in Mial village.
ASI Ghulam Akbar lost his life when the wanted men fired back at the police party headed by Saddar Superintendent of Police (SP) Abdul Waheed Khattak.
According to the police, Pervaiz and seven others escaped from the scene while the four men who were killed engaged the raiding party.
Local people and the relatives of Pervaiz claimed that the four men surrendered to the police but the law enforcers shot them dead.
Wailing women also claimed the police set the house on fire, damaging household items and food. In support of their argument, they said there were no bullet marks on the exterior walls of the house.
SP Khattak, however, said they learnt of the presence of some 12 wanted men in the house, located on a hillock near Mial village, and decided to raid the place to arrest the outlaws.
The SP said the raiding party, which included elite force commandos, was fired upon first. “When we got close to the hillock, the outlaws spotted us and started firing,” in which ASI Akbar was killed and Constable Hasnain Shahzad was injured.
The police responded with fire and tear gas. “As a result, four outlaws were killed, but the others escaped.”
He ruled out the accusations that the dead outlaws had surrendered. “The police warned them first and asked them to come out peacefully before using gunfire as the last resort.”
The SP said an FIR had been registered relating to the encounter incidents and they are focusing on tracking down the suspects who escaped from the scene.
Akbar’s funeral prayers were offered at Police Lines, where the rank and file and the top brass of police were present.
City Police Officer CPO Azhar Hameed Khokhar said the encounter was part of their ongoing operation against proclaimed offenders and absconders in the district. He added that they also seized some heavy arms from the hideout.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 21st, 2012.
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