ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad police have collected water and dead fish samples from the Rawal Lake, which was allegedly poisoned, and will send them to a laboratory.
A probe was ordered after many fish were found dead in the reservoir.
The alleged poisoning has also alarmed citizens who consume water from the reservoir.
The Secretariat police will dispatch the samples to the Punjab Forensic Science Agency to detect contamination if any, as well as to ascertain the cause of death of the fish.
Authorities began the probe following the Islamabad fisheries department submitting a complaint against a “local mafia operating in the surroundings of the Rawal Lake”.
The department said the contract for fishing in the lake had been awarded to Bahadur Sher Afridi of Younas Enterprises for Rs44 million for a two-year period.
However, the department and the contractor faced the issue of illegal fishing by unauthorised people. To prevent illegal fishing, an operation was carried out recently in which violators were booked and their boats seized.
At least five people were arrested and 20 boats confiscated, said Fisheries Deputy Director Muhammad Sadiq Buzdar in his complaint to the police.
“Owing to these actions against them, this mafia has repeatedly threatened the department and the contractor,” he added.
The complainant maintained, “After the operation [against them], this mafia began their terrorist activities and mixed some lethal poison in the water of Rawal Lake and till date many fish have been found dead while others are still dying on a daily basis.”
He added that there was also the fear of a public health crisis as thousands of Rawalpindi residents used water from the reservoir.
The police have registered a case against unidentified people for poisoning the water and killing the fish.
There is a ban on boating and fishing, except for the contractor, in the lake for around a year.