Rawalpindi on terrorists’ hit list, says RPO

* Akhtar Umer says slums safe havens for saboteurs * Police have busted 17 dacoit gangs in two months
Rawalpindi on terrorists’ hit list, says RPO
AFP

RAWALPINDI: Regional Police Officer (RPO) Akhtar Umer has said that Rawalpindi city is on the hit list of terrorists and that slum areas surrounding the twin cities are safe havens for these miscreants.
Addressing a press conference on Saturday, Akhtar Umer admitted that a large number of foreigners have purchased property in Rawalpindi, Taxila and other surrounding areas.
He said that sanctuaries in the slums help the terrorists execute their subversive activities.
The RPO said that investigation into terror activities so far had established links between miscreants and slums.
Akhtar Umer said that suggestion to launch interrogation of suspects of the Rawalpindi RA Bazaar suicide blast under the newly enacted Protection of Pakistan Ordinance (PPO) was under consideration.
He also said that the police had smashed 17 dacoits gangs and arrested their 62 members during the last two months.
He said that the police had recovered illegal weapons including 31 pistols/revolvers with 101 bullets, one Kalashnikov rifle, four stolen vehicles, six motorcycles and Rs 3.3 million in cash from the possession of the arrested accused.
During interrogation, the arrested gangsters confessed to several incidents of robbery, mugging, snatching of vehicles and motorcycles and other crimes in different areas of the district.
He said that hectic efforts were made to control the situation on various occasions that could have led to grave law and order problems. He said that a total of eight FIRs had been registered in the Ashura, Raja Bazaar, incident in which 67 accused were nominated with 745 other unknown accused. 
He said that a total of 124 persons had been arrested and presented in courts.
He further said that nine dangerous inter-provincial gangs had been smashed as police rounded up their 31 members and recovered gold ornaments worth Rs 1 million, Rs 841,000 in cash, 11 stolen motorcycles, 81 stolen mobile phones and 15 pistols with 83 rounds.
The RPO said that the Rawalpindi police under its operation against anti-social elements conducted raids and recovered 39 stolen vehicles and 21 motorcycles. 
He said 124 vehicles and 613 motorcycles were impounded in different police stations during the period. He said that the CIA under its separate operations arrested eight car lifters and recovered 12 stolen motorcycles.
He said that after the Raja Bazaar incident, comprehensive search operations were launched in the district to net criminals, proclaimed offenders and court absconders.
He further said that four police encounters took place in the last two months in which two policemen got injured while two criminals died, while nine were arrested. 
The police also apprehended 645 proclaimed offenders, including six of the top-10, one of top-20 and 102 of A-category.
Umer said that police had also resolved five blind murder cases and nabbed nine accused. A target killer namely Iqbal Khan, who had killed three officers of the Karachi police and 16 other persons, wanted in several cases registered in Karachi, was also arrested by the RA Bazaar police, he said. 
He said that the Rawalpindi police registered 642 cases against drug paddlers and bootleggers during the two months and arrested 650 accused, besides recovering more than nine kilogrammes of heroin, 110kg charas and 6,844 bottles of liquor.
He said that 415 cases were also registered against illegal firearm holders while police netted 416 accused, besides recovering 329 pistols, 37 guns, 13 Kalashnikov rifles, one hand grenade, 40 daggers and 11,700 bullets.

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