Faisalabad police have recovered the wife, daughter and brother of a police inspector after they were kidnapped by a proclaimed offender nearly two days ago.
According to police officials, the kidnapper initially demanded the release of ten of his accomplices, including four women before agreeing to release the police inspector’s family.
Rana Shahzad, a proclaimed offender worth head money of Rs1,000,000, reportedly sent a demand to the police to release ten of his accomplices including four women of his family in exchange for the release of the police inspector’s family. Punjab Police Inspector General Jawed Iqbal had set a deadline of 24 hours for the release of the family. Police sources revealed that the kidnappers made it clear that “if any of their accomplices or family members in police custody were harmed they would kill the family of Satiana Police Station House Officer (SHO) inspector Rana Mazharul Haq. “He said that he will kidnap more of my family and injure them if his accomplices weren’t released,” Haq said.
Police officials hinted that they had approached secret agencies including the Inter Service Agency, Military Intelligence, Central Intelligence Department (CID), Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Special Brach to provide technical assistance to locate the hideout of the kidnappers and recover the abducted family members. “Rana Shahzad’s gang has been operating in Gujranwala, Sheikhpura, Nankana, Hafizabad, Faisalabad and in other areas as well. The gang was involved in a number of murders, robberies and kidnappings for ransom,” Haq told reporters.
Eyewitnesses said that eight people broke into the SHOs house at 4:30 pm on Thursday. “The men were wearing the uniform of the elite force and forced entry into the house, a while later they took away the family at gun point,” an eyewitness said. The outlaws were carrying crates of fruits and told neighbours that these had been sent by senior police officials to commend the SHOs ‘excellent performance in nabbing kidnappers’.
The outlaws took the SHOs wife Saima, 29, his daughter Mehvish, 2, and his brother Rana Fazal, 51. On receipt of information, a heavy police contingent rushed to the spot but the men had already escaped. Jhang Bazaar Police registered a case against Shahzad Bhatti, a ring leader of the Shazi Gang and over a dozens of his accomplices under Sections 365, 395 of the Pakistan Penal Code, and Section 7 of the Anti-terrorism Act on the written complaint of Rana Mazharul Haq.
The incident was a response to a police raid that took place four days ago. Police teams headed by SHO Mazharul Haq raided in Chak No37-GB to arrest Shehzad Bhatti. The police party aired a massage through a megaphone of the village mosques for the gang to surrender but Shehzad Bhatti and his accomplices opened fire. Villagers said that the encounter lasted over four hours. Police arrested Naila Shehzad, wife of the proclaimed offender and other relatives including Nakkash alias ‘Kashi’, Nadia Bibi, Balqees Bibi, Muqaddas Bibi, Muhammad Khan, Muhammad Ramzan, Shafiq, Ateeq and five other men on charges of providing shelter to the proclaimed offender. All of the accused persons have been sent to jail on judicial remand.“The SHO announced that Shahzad surrender himself or his family would be tortured. He said that the police would implicate every one of the captives in dozens of cases and threatened that he would never see them again,” an eyewitness Nadeem said.
Police sources said that Shahzad had threatened to kidnap the SHOs family within 24 hours if his accomplices were not released. “When they weren’t the SHOs family went missing,” an official said. According to police officials a deal was struck between the police and kidnappers on Friday evening. “A police team met an envoy from the kidnappers outside Faisalabad and told them that the ten men would be kept safe and would be released in accordance with the law,” said a police official on condition of anonymity. “There was some talk about releasing the ten prisoners but police officials refused and now the family is safe at home,” he said. Capital Police Officer (CPO) Rai Tahir Hussain said that the kidnappers released the family after the police put pressure on them. “
There was no deal and the kidnappers released the family because they knew we had more of their men,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2011.