Crackdown or negotiations: 8 kidnapped police officers recovered

The gangsters had demanded four conditions for the exchange of police officers.

Owais Jafri July 15, 2013
The gangsters have demanded four conditions for the exchange of police officer. PHOTO: FILE

RAJANPUR: Police on Monday recovered as many as 12 people, including eight police officers who were kidnapped from the Kacha area of Rajanpur nine days ago.

Regional Police Officer (RPO) Dera Ghazi Khan Deputy inspector general of police (DIG) Omar Laleeka claimed that the release of police personnel was a result of their crack down which involved as many as 800 police personnel. Many gangsters were also reportedly arrested.

However, sources told The Express Tribune that negotiations between PML-N MPA Atif Mazari had resulted in the eight men being released.

Gangsters belonging to the Ghulam Rasool Chotu, alias Chotu Mazari, had overran police pickets on three islands in the Kacha area of Rajanpur, Kacha Karachi, Kachi Jamal and Baggiani on July 7, 2013, abducting at least nine policemen. One of the officers was reportedly killed during the negotiation process.

The criminals had then put forward four conditions for releasing the hostages. These demands included the release of Chotu's nephew, head of the Chotu gang and his three other companions from the Bahawalpur central prison; shutting down all check posts in the Kacha area; dismissing FIRs against the Chotu gang; release of all relatives of Ghulam Rasool Chotu.

After the gang kidnapped the officials, at least two police divisions attempted to apprehend the kidnappers. However, the gangsters managed to escape their clutches. The civilian authorities then requested army gunship helicopters to help track down the gang.

Sources told  The Express Tribune that in the end the authorities released all companions of the gang in exchange for the kidnapped policemen.

Apart from recovering the kidnapped police officers, they recovered Dr Wazeer Khan, his son and their dispenser who had been kidnapped from the Shiekh Zayed Hospital in Rahim Yar Khan. An engineer of the irrigation department was also recovered.

DIG Laleeka, DPO Sohail Chatta and DPO Rajanpur Ehsaan Manzoor visited the area through a helicopter after the remaining criminals’ escaped.

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