ATTOCK, Sept 25: The escape of seven high profile criminals from police custody in various cases has raised questions on the government and police authorities’ competence as none of the fugitives have been apprehended so far.

Bilal, the ring leader of a notorious highway robber’s gang, was involved in robberies and car lifting cases. Furthermore, he was also accused in the murder of a police constable at Kotkay police post on the Ghazi-Terballah Road on August 10, 2013.

However, on September 4, he was able to easily escape from a post of the Hazro police station even though he was arrested with difficulty and was being interrogated to unearth other gang members.

A criminal case was then registered against four police officials including the incharge of the police post.

Similarly, two high profile kidnappers, Adeel-ur-Rehman and Noor-ul Ameen, who were involved in vehicle theft and sexual assault cases, also escaped from the lockup of Hasanabdal Saddar police station on April 4.

From the same police station, the ringleader of a kidnapper’s gang, Sher Ali (resident of Swat) also managed to escape on October 21, 2012. He had been arrested six days prior on October 16 for the murder of a teenage boy.

According to the departmental inquiry report, police officials had taken a bribe from Sher Ali, and he had been brought out of the lockup with handcuffs which allowed the ringleader to escape.

Likewise, on September 30, 2011, three kidnappers – Habibullah, Saeedullah and Rohul Ameen – had escaped from the Rangu police station.

The escape of such high profile criminals has encouraged gangs to continue their activities as seen from the number of kidnapping cases in the last 2 years.

A local businessman was kidnapped on June 28, 2011, for a ransom of Rs200 million from Jityal Village of Hazro police station. Later, his body was recovered from a village of Peshawar on August 9, 2011.

Similarly, a bank manager was kidnapped on August 10, 2011 for a ransom of Rs10 million. Luckily, he was recovered by the police from the tribal areas on Aug 17, 2011.

A gang had also attempted to abduct Dr Mohammad Hayat near Kalachitta of the Basal Police on October 8, 2011, but failed after locals intervened. Junaid Ahmed, 28, was abducted from Darulsalam colony Attock in December 2011, who was freed after paying the ransom. A landlord, Sheikh Tariq Jameel, was kidnapped from his warehouse on February 2, 2012 and released in June that year after paying Rs30 million ransom.

A boy, Abdul Subhan, 4, was also kidnapped on February 24, 2013 for a ransom of Rs3. 5 million, but was recovered by the police in a raid on February 26.

The most recent incident of kidnapping occurred on August 20, 2013 when Yasir Khan, son of a retired bank manager, was kidnapped near Mullah Mansoor Village of the Hazro police station.

The escape of criminals from police custody is alarming for the general public and the police have to devise a strategy to control it. When contacted, Inspector General Police Khan Baig was not available for comments.

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