Aug 262017

LAHORE: Four suspected robbers were killed in an ‘encounter’ in Harbanspura on Saturday morning.

Six to seven suspects reportedly formed a picket near Harbanspura graveyard early in the morning and were looting citizens. A victim called police and a team reached the spot after receiving information about criminal activity in the area.

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As soon as the suspects saw the raiding team, they opened fire and the police retaliated in the same fashion. When the guns ultimately fell silent, police went across to the other side of the picket and found four bodies lying in a pool of blood.

The officials said the accomplices of the suspected robbers took advantage of the poor light and managed to flee from the scene. As news of the encounter spread, a heavy contingent of police rushed to the site and launched a search operation in nearby areas to hunt down the fugitives.

They also collected forensic evidence from the crime scene and took the bodies to the morgue for autopsies. Although the suspects could not be identified till the filing of this report, it was established that two of them were between the ages of 20 and 22 years old, one was around 26 or 27 and the third was in his 30s.

FIR No 1131/17 was also registered at Harbanspura Police Station against the encounter on the complaint of SHO Ehsan Ashraf.

On Wednesday the week before, a 25-year-old man was shot dead by unidentified suspected robbers in Harbanspura.

The victim was identified as Faisal Ali. The victim and his elder brother Arif Shehzad were heading towards Shahpur Kanjran to purchase a sacrificial animal when they were ambushed by as many as five people near Salamatpura. The gunmen immediately started snatching the cash and valuables when one of the victims resisted the attempt. That is when matters took a turn for the worse as one of the armed robbers opened fire, injuring Faisal in the process, before fleeing from the scene. The victim suffered bullet injuries and was rushed to a nearby hospital where doctors pronounced him as dead on arrival. At the time, the family of the victim told the media that the wedding ceremony of the deceased was scheduled on the week after Eid.

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In another recent incident which took place a week before Eidul Fitr, a young man identified as Imtiaz had been shot dead by robbers in Defence A.  The suspects were fleeing after committing a robbery at a clothes shop. Imtiaz tried to capture them, but ended up paying with his life.  He was settled in Canada and had returned a few days before Eidul Fitr to spend the occasion with his family.

Later, the suspects allegedly involved in this crime, identified Ateeq, Nasir and Muhammad Ali, were killed in an encounter by Defence A police on July 15. Police claimed that the suspects were fleeing after snatching a bike when they were intercepted by a patrolling team. They were shot dead during the shootout and police later claimed that at least 40 cases of robbery had been traced to them.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 27th, 2017.

The post Police kill four ‘robbers’ in Harbanspura encounter appeared first on The Express Tribune.

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