KARACHI: The Counter Terrorism Wing (CTW) of the Crime Investigation Department arrested an alleged member of a notorious gang of extortionists during a targeted raid in Kati Pahari.
CTW Chief SSP Raja Omer Khattab disclosed the arrest at a press conference held at the wing’s office. The accused, identified as Abdul Kabeer, belonged to Mehfoozullah’s, aka Bhalu, group. Bhalu, who was a part of a political party in the past, runs a gang of around 20 members in Mohammad Pur area of Kati Pahari. The gang has been involved in various acts of terrorism, target killings, extortion and drugs. SSP Khattab informed the media that the group had installed CCTV cameras on Kati Pahari and its surrounding areas to monitor the movement of Rangers and police to avoid arrest.
Bhalu has his hideout on top of Kati Pahari and has survived several raids owing to strong monitoring and stiff resistance by his group, he added. The CTW chief said that the police failed to get hold of him due to vicious counter-attacks, despite reaching his hideout. The police, however, managed to arrest Kabeer and seize a huge cache of weapons, which included five Kalashnikovs, G-3 rifle, a 9mm pistol, .30 bore pistol, two repeaters and a revolver, and other articles, such as CCTV cameras, walkie-talkie sets and bulletproof jackets
Quoting Kabeer, SSP Khattab said that Bhalu was supported by local political party leaders, who tipped him off before a possible action by law enforcers. They also used him for target killings, he said. Bhalu’s another companion, Bilal aka Tension, who was recently arrested by Pirabad police, has also revealed some high-profile names, according to SSP Khattab.
Bhalu originally belongs to Kala Dhaka and has been running his gang for the last two years. Previously, he used to run a rickshaw. About 200 of the 350 marble factories pay him extortion money, failing which the group often attacks factory management with hand grenades and firing, he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2013.
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