DI KHAN: The security forces’ operation in the riverine areas of South Punjab’s Rajanpur district entered its 25th day on Friday as eleven alleged facilitators of another gang appeared before the police and offered to cooperate.
Meanwhile, the army’s helicopter gunships continued their aerial surveillance and shelling of Rajanpur’s kacha tracts, including the Kacha Jamal and Kacha Moro areas. The curfew at the blockaded areas continued on its eighth day as security forces mounted more search operations against criminal gangs. The operation codenamed Zarb-e-Aahan – initially led by Punjab police and supported by paramilitary Rangers– was started in the last week of March against the gangsters infesting Rajanpur’s kacha areas.
The offensive reached a climax on April 16 after the army took its charge following the killing of seven and kidnapping of around 24 policemen by a gangster, Ghulam Rasool alias Chutto.
Chutto surrendered along with his accomplices to the army on April 20 and released the kidnapped officials. However, the operation has continued to uproot the other gangs holed up in the area, strategically located at the junction of three provinces.
There are around half a dozen gangs – including Imrani, Sukhani, Lund, Gopang, and Ataullah Patt gangs – still resisting the security forces’ operation. There are also reports of Baloch separatists and proscribed organisations possibly supporting these criminals.
On Thursday night, the Attaullah Patt gang showed its willingness to surround but later it refused to lay down its arms and continued its fight. However, on Friday eleven of the groups’ alleged facilitators appeared before the police and offered their full cooperation.
These facilitators have been detained in the police station.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2016.
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