ISLAMABAD, Sept 23: The Islamabad capital territory police detained four or five Punjab police personnel while rioting in plainclothes during the Friday protests against the anti-Islam film in the federal capital, Dawn has learnt.

A source said Interior Minister Rehman Malik had asked the police to start an investigation against the policemen but it is believed that they were freed after intervention by the staff of the capital police chief.

The Punjab police personnel were caught along with a magistrate while rioting in the capital city at around 6.46pm and later shifted to the Aabpara police station, the source said, adding they were on motorbikes when caught.

After detention of the police personnel, messages were exchanged between the staff of the IGP and the police station at about 6.47pm, and the conversation is on the police record, the source said.

The source quoted the police as saying in their message to the IGP staff: “We have captured some motorbike riders who turned out to be Punjab police personnel.”

The IGP’s staff replied back: “Shift them to the police station, give their details and number. And avoid speaking about such issues on the wireless set in future.”

Meanwhile, police in Rawalpindi are looking for 5,000 people who had been booked for rioting on Friday.

The police have sought help from close-circuit surveillance cameras installed on the premises of private and government buildings at Faizabad to identify the rioters who caused extensive damage to the public property, police vehicles besides ransacking shops and CNG stations.

A senior police official said they had launched a manhunt for those involved in the rioting and sought help from CCTV images, video films and some other sources to identify the rioters.

One of the groups of rioters, who the police said belonged to Mohmand Agency, also snatched a rifle from the guard of SP Rawal Town and his personal pistol.

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