ABBOTABAD: Three of the five robbers killed in police encounter on Friday were identified as activists of a banned outfit, however their heirs denied the report and the police said the matter was still under investigation.
Two of the robbers were killed in a shootout with Mansehra police when they were running after looting Rs10 million from a United Bank Limited branch, while three of their fleeing accomplices were gunned down by Abbottabad police the same evening.
The identity of those killed in Mansehra could not be ascertained and they were buried after collecting samples for DNA. The three robbers killed in Abbottabad were identified as Hassnain Mavia, a resident of village Dhamtor, Abbottabad, Yasir Ashraf of village Mangal, Mansehra and Abdul Shakoor resident of village Lassan Thakraan, Mansehra.
They were also buried in the morning, but when they were identified later by their families, the bodies were exhumed and handed over to their families.
Meanwhile according to an informed source, all the three alleged robbers were the activists of a banned outfit.
Riaz Khan, the father of Mavia, rejected the claim that his son had any links with banned outfit adding that his son left for Rawalpindi on 20th of Ramazan saying that he would, like previous years, sit for Aitekaf at the Medressah of Maulana Azizur Rehman. But yesterday he received phone call that one of the dead bodies buried was of his son Hassnain.
He said his son was innocent and was gunned down in a staged encounter. Riaz Khan did not nominate anybody or agency for what he says was a murder of his son.
The family of Yasir said that he had left home five years back and had no contact with his parents or family members.
Family members of Abdul Shakoor refused to talk to the media about him.
When approached for comments the DPO Abbottabad Muhammad Ali Gandapur said police were investigating background of the robbers.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2013.