Highway robbery: Kashmiri expats looted, six cops suspended

Inquiry against three officials of Punjab Highway Police patrolling squad ordered

Javed Chishti July 10, 2016
Inquiry against three officials of Punjab Highway Police patrolling squad ordered. PHOTO: nhmp.gov.pk

KALLAR SYEDAN: The in-charge and six other officials of a patrolling post of the Punjab Highway Police have been suspended for negligence and are being questioned in connection with a robbery incident that took place near Chowk Pindori on Kallar Syedan-Rawalpindi Road on Saturday.

According to the police, a Kashmiri expatriate family was robbed by three armed highwaymen in the presence of the Punjab Highway Police squad, sources in the police department told daily Express on Sunday.

“The preliminary investigation suggests that all the squad members of PHP were absent from duty and only a driver was sitting in the mobile van,” SHO Khizar Hayyat of the Kallar Syedan police station said.

Superintendent of the Punjab Highway Police Sa’adat Mehndi on receiving information about the incident reached the scene and suspended Sub-Inspector Nadeem Tariq, Assistant Sub-Inspector Muhammad Anis, constables Adeel, Faheem, Irtiza and Imran for negligence. He has also ordered an inquiry against the officials.

The Pindori police checkpost in-charge, SI Muhammad Altaf, has been appointed investigation officer who is quizzing the three PHP officials.

According to the police, after the incident Raja Amjad Khan, a resident of Dhudial Tehsil in Azad Kashmir, approached the patrolling police squad for help but they switched off the headlights of their vehicle and went inside the building.

According to Khan, he along with his family members were on the way to his native town Dhudial in a van after arriving at Benazir Bhutto airport in Islamabad from the UK when a Suzuki Cultus car which was chasing them hit the van from behind asking them to stop in front of the PHP patrolling post.

They pulled out their guns and aimed at the occupants of the vehicle asking them to hand over cash and their valuables. On resistance, the armed robbers thrashed the van driver, misbehaved with the women while snatching 5,000-pound sterling (approximately Rs6,78,775), 35 tola (437.5 grams) of gold jewellery worth Rs2,042,975, two British passports, cheque books, mobile phones and other documents, the complainant said.

Highway robbery: Passenger coach looted  

SHO Hayat, when contacted, said the family — five women and two men — were intercepted by the robbers at 4:30am near Chowk Pindori police post.

Meanwhile, Ghulam Abbas, one of the victims, told mediapersons that suspension of the police officials is an eye wash. He demanded registration of a criminal case against them.

The family has demanded of the Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan to take notice of the incident. They said in the past such incidents occurred where expatriates were looted at the same point in the presence of police.

Highway robberies

Gangs of highway robbers impersonating officials of intelligence agencies have been active in Potohar divisions recently targeting passengers mostly expatriates coming from abroad.

On June 25, 2016, the robbers also tried to loot Pervez Akhtar and his wife, who had come from France near Redco Mills on Rawat-Kallar Syedan road, Incidentally the robbers had to flee when people came out of the mills and rescued them.

On June 26 a businessman was robbed of cash and other valuables at gunpoint in the same area.

Three armed motorcyclists entered Khalid Farooq Traders Shop on Kallar Syedan Road, made the owner hostage, Adnan Khalid, and his employees at gunpoint and snatched Rs130,000 cash and three mobile phones.

Two days earlier armed men in two separate incidents at Rawal General Store and Suhaib Building Materials looted Rs500,000.

The traders and local people have blamed the negligence and poor performance of the PHP patrolling squad and Kallar Syedan police for the rising incidents of crime.

They demanded of the Punjab government to take notice of the increasing incidents of robberies on highways and order action against the relevant police officials for dereliction.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2016.


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