Base camps set up in the Katcha area
The police in Rahim Yar Khan’s Sadiqabad have finally moved against the feared Andhar Gang, arresting eight of its facilitators.
The Andhar Gang killed at least nine people at a fuel station in Mahi Chowk earlier this month after owners refused to pay extortion money.
There was an outcry against the police for their reluctance to act against the gang, which intimidated a complainant into withdrawing his application about the nine deaths.
The operation against the Andhar Gang was finally announced last week.
On Tuesday, the police, led by the Superintendent Police (SP) Investigation, carried out raids in the region after gathering the required intelligence. The raids led to the arrest of eight alleged facilitators linked to the Andhar Gang.
They were moved to an unknown location for interrogation.
Rahim Yar Khan District Police Officer (DPO) Ali Zia said that an intelligence-based targeted operation was under way to arrest the killers and that the police were using modern technology including drone cameras.
A heavy contingent of police is taking part in the operation led by senior officers, including SP Investigation and DSP CIA, he said and added that personnel from the Punjab Elit Force had also joined the police action.
DPO Rahim Yar Khan said the police had set up nine base camps in the remote Katcha area, where more than 300 police and elite force personnel were deployed.
Police have also sent reinforcement to Dauwala Check Post deploying armoured vehicles there, according to the DPO.
He said police teams were patrolling in Bhong, Ahmedpur Lama, Kotsabzal and Machhka areas.
Police said all resources were being utilized for operations against the gang and all possible steps were being taken to maintain peace in the area.
The October 19 reprisal attack, which was initially thought to be an armed robbery gone fatal, was recorded on CCTV cameras at the fuel station.
Terror gripped the region after the attack, with few people willing to speak against the Andhar Gang.
Mumtaz Chang, a member of the Punjab Assembly, revealed at a press conference that the gang had issued threats to the families of the deceased and force the only complainant to withdraw his application.
After the press conference, the gang brazenly threatened Chang and his family members.
Police officials say they have extended protection to Chang and his family.