Robbers vs tribal lashker : Two killed in Tank gun battle

Baitani tribe criticises ‘mob justice’ for dacoits

Rafiq Kundi July 26, 2021


Two locals were killed in a gunfight between robbers and armed tribal lashker in Ama Khel, Tank district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).

Another two were seriously injured. After the loss of their two men, the tribal lashker razed the suspected hideouts of the robbers to the ground with the help of local police.

Talking to The Express Tribune local residents said that around 11 o’clock at night the robbers established a check point along the main road in the area and robbed dozens of people including the owner of a local petrol pump after which police was informed but when they didn’t reach the spot, locals were so enraged they made announcements on loudspeakers from mosques asking people to assemble quickly with their arms.

“This armed lashker then proceeded towards the spot where the robbers had established a checkpoint and a gunbattle ensued between the two groups. Around 2 o’clock the lashker chased the robbers to a village Kari Shah Noor and surrounded them completely. The robbers were also well armed and they used hand grenades against the numerically superior lashker,” said a member of the lashker, adding that this grenade attack left two local residents dead and two others seriously injured.

“As this gun-battle was ongoing, locals repeatedly asked the police to help them but to no avail,” he said, adding that the injured were shifted to the hospital and afterwards the lashker proceeded further.

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“After several hours a police party also reached the spot but didn’t interfere because it was very small in the face of a large lashker,” he said, adding that after suffering heavy losses the lashker members were even more enraged and they set on fire the hideouts of robbers.

“These robbers were really experienced ones and more than a match for the ordinary folks of the lashker. They not only were able to break the cordon of the lashker and escape once again from Kari Noor Shah village but kept the lashker at a safe distance too all the time,” he said, adding that the lashker too gave them a good chase as far afield as the former FR Tank where finally police also joined them.

“Once the robbers reached the mountainous region of former Frontier Region Tank, they quickly disappeared despite all the efforts of the police and lashker,” he said.

Later police and the lashker acted jointly and razed the houses of the robber in the area. The dead have been identified as Umar Sayam and Naseemullah.

On the other hand Baitani tribesmen have voiced their strong concern over the razing of houses of the suspected robbers and formed a 30-strong Jirga of elders to consider the matter.

“There is no place for such mob justice in the law and it is even more unfortunate that the houses were razed with the help of police. Government should take notice of the situation otherwise this would lead to unrest,” they warned.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2021.


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