Four gunmen opened fire with automatic weapons at the police picket at the Babu Sabu Interchange on Monday morning, killing two constables and injuring two in an unexplained attack.
SSP (Operation) Sajjad Ahmad Manj told The Express Tribune that a white Suzuki Cultus had stopped around a hundred metres short of the picket located at the entrance of the Motorway where cars leaving Lahore are inspected. He said that four armed men had got out of the car and opened fire.
Constables Muhammad Mushtaq, 41, and Zahid Mansoor, 26, were hit multiple times and died at the scene. Constables Waqas Rasheed and Kamran were taken to Mayo Hospital with injuries.
The SSP said that policemen stationed at the picket where cars entering Lahore from the Motorway are inspected returned fire.
He said the unidentified gunmen then got back in the car and fled in the direction of Yateem Khana Chowk. He said the motive for the attack was as yet unclear.
Police officials said that at the time there were 14 personnel on duty at the police post at the Babu Sabu Interchange, which is located in Sherakot police jurisdiction and is headed by Muhafiz Squad Sub Inspector Muhammad Nawaz. They said that the attackers used a Kalashnikov, a 9mm revolver and 0.30 calibre pistol. Lahore police was put on high alert soon after the incident.
Constable Manzoor was from Sillanwali in Okara district and he joined the Police Department on October 3, 2007.
He left a widow behind. Constable Mushtaq, also from Okara and a resident at the Cantonment police station, joined the service on February 26, 1995. He was married and had five children.
Shortly after a namaz-i-janaza for the constables, Punjab Police Inspector General (IG) Haji Habibur Rehman chaired a meeting at the office of the SP (Headquarters) in the Qila Gujjar Singh police lines.
The IG announced assistance of Rs3 million each for the families of the killed constables. The families will also continue to receive the constables’ salaries till their retirement date, while two jobs each in the police will be available to them. The IG directed the Okara district police officer to pay for their burial in the district.
The provincial police chief directed the Lahore capital city police officer and the DIG (operations) to beef up security at police pickets and bunkers and at important buildings. He also said that they should make sure that CCTV cameras installed at buildings, markets and roads were functional.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 15th, 2012.
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