PESHAWAR: An unidentified gang of armed men has spread panic in the outskirts of the city, following frequent incidents of gang rape, looting and murder.
There were initially only “rumours” of the incidents in the jurisdiction of Nasir Bagh, Regi, Mathra, Tehkal and Ring Road near Achini Bala area. However, police officials deny the existence of armed bandits.
On Saturday night, when a man identified as Farid Khan was killed, locals in Haji Banda village in the jurisdiction of Sarband police station fired aerial shots after spotting a group of men.
It was not clear whether Khan was killed by panicked villagers or the bandits as he was watering his fields when the firing occurred. No FIR has been lodged as yet.
Earlier, rumours initiating from Palosai village had terrified a large number of people from different areas.
People of Haji Banda allege that the group is based in Khyber Agency and enters the limits of the settled district every night.
Another incident of around 20 men entering three houses and raping women in Mullazai village 11 days ago, has also been associated with the group.
Police officials, however, have declared these as mere rumours.
Ibrahim, a resident of the same village, said that from the tactics implied by the group, they were keener on inciting terror rather than stealing.
SHO Nasir Bagh Sabz Ali Khan said: “Not a single FIR has been lodged as yet. If someone was gang raped then the police should be informed about it.” The locals of Haji Banda have also ruled out the option of these men belonging the Mangal Bagh-led Lashker-e-Islam (LI).
“LI militants can do anything like looting and slaughtering poor people. They would not enter houses like these bandits in the middle of the night and rape women. We know them,” said a local, requesting anonymity.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 1st, 2012.