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May 28, 2018

Locals say remnants of Chotu gang active in Muzaffargarh


May 28, 2018

LAHORE: District Muzaffargarh police have expressed helplessness to save lives and properties of locals from Akram Gopang alias Keri Gang as the later has been making the lives of the people miserable to the maximum extent.

The locals confided to The News that the gang members were not only committing robbery, theft, and extortion but also harassing the victims who would register a complaint against them.

According to the modus operandi of the armed gang, 10 to 20 members barge into the house of a person who would stand against them, torture men, women and children, loot valuables and leave without any interference, expressed a victim his ordeal while talking to this correspondent by phone. Another victim brought the issue into the notice of higher authorities, staged protests but to no avail. He added that they were the remnants of Chotu and Bosan Gangs. A few members of the gangs were apprehended or killed by the law enforcement agencies. Others had returned to their houses and were involved in similar activities like Keri Gang.

There was a need to launch a follow-up operation against Chotu or Bosan Gang, one of the victims stated.

Quoting an example of the gang’s hooliganism, a complainant said that the members of the gang extracted money of Rs0.15 million from a victim threatening him that on refusal, they would abduct his only son. Few days back, they returned and asked them to pay more money. The victim refused saying that he did not have more money to pay to them. The accused persons started thrashing the old man. The incident occurred near the house of Peer of Kundrala Sharif, a respectable religious personality of the area.

Another old man, a member of the religious family, intervened to stop them from their unjust excesses. The accused persons also started torturing him. They also entered his house and tortured other family members. A case was registered against the accused persons in Seetpur Police Station.

Another case was registered against them in the same police station by Sami Ullah, a student. He stated that one day he was present in his house when the accused persons entered and started beating him and other family members asking his uncle Abdul Sattar Khan who was a complainant against them in an FIR.

Yet another case was registered in PS Seetpur against accused persons by one Naseer Ahmad. He stated that the victim ran a shop. One day, the accused persons, armed with sophisticated weapons came to his shop, took daily-use items and cash from his shop. As he asked them for money, they started beating him up.

The victims said that over 40 FIRs against the gang were registered in different police stations.

Seetpur police station SHO Idrees Khan said that the prime accused person was cousin of the victims. He had been involved in such activities for long but now they have started raising hue and cry after a dispute within the family. The accused persons have been challaned by police; this is what police could do, he added. They have registered three more FIRs and arrested three accused persons. A few of them were on bail. He vowed to proceed against all of them according to law.

The accused persons are rogue elements, Khan admitted. Akram alias Keri were nine brothers and the cases against them were of disputes almost all of these registered by his own family members after disputes and manipulating the disputes into extortion, theft, robbery incidents, he added. Khan further stated that Akram alias Keri has also got registered FIRs against them.

On question of supervision of the accused persons by a CTD Inspector, he said that Akram alias Keri has worked as his servant when he was SHO Seetpur. However, he was not supporting them at all. He called him only once when police had arrested a class three student of the accused family during raid.

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