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LAHORE: Nankana Sahib police claimed on Thursday that the suspects involved in the killing of two men during a jewellery shop robbery were proclaimed offenders wanted in 18 criminal cases, including murder of four policemen.

According to a police report available with Dawn, the police received information that six unidentified men armed with automatic weapons arrived at Saadat Jewellers in Syedwala Main Bazaar around 6pm on Wednesday. Three of the suspects entered the shop and as many others kept waiting for them on the road and also resorted to aerial firing. They shot a passerby identified as Umar Hayat who died on the spot, the report said.

It added that the robbers collected a huge quantity of gold and silver ornaments, besides cash and shot shop owner Zafarullah dead over offering resistance.

Meanwhile, Syedwala police station SHO Muhammad Yaqoob and his team reached the spot, cordoned off the area and told the robbers to surrender.

Also accused of killing policemen

The report said the robbers opened fire on the police team and also hurled hand-grenades at them. The police party retaliated in self-defence and the exchange of fire continued for an hour between the two sides.

It claimed when the firing stopped, three of the robbers were found dead and another was injured, while their two accomplices fled the scene on their motorcycle.

One of the suspects who were found dead was identified as Qasim Ali alias Kashi of Chungi Amar Sidhu, Lahore, who was allegedly involved in 19 cases, including murder, dacoity-murder, terrorism and encounter with police.

The other, Suleman alias Mani, of Faisalabad, was also allegedly involved in eight such cases, while Amir Ali of Nankana Sahib in four similar cases.

According to police investigation, the suspects belonged to Suleman alias Shabbir Gang that was involved in 18 cases of heinous crime committed in various districts, including the killing of a police constable in Faisalabad.

The police also recovered 104 tola gold, 190 tola silver and Rs51,420 cash, along with weapons, including two Klashnikovs, as many repeaters, three hand-grenades, three bags containing bullets and cartridges and three motorcycles used in crimes.

The report said two of the suspects, Qasim and Suleman, were allegedly involved in the killing of SHO Nadeem Anjum, constables Khalid, Wasim and Shahzad Ansar in Faisalabad and a case (FIR No 69/17) under sections 302, 324, 353, 186 and 34 of the PPC and 7 of the Anti Terrorism Act (ATA), was registered against them at Madras Town police station in Faisalabad district.

It said the suspects were also involved in the killing of constable Muhammad Adeel and another case (FIR No 143/ 17) was registered under sections 302, 392, 353, 186 and 34 of the PPC at Qadirabad police station, Mandi Bahauddin district.

Meanwhile, Syedwala police station also registered two cases under ATA against the suspects.

Nankana District Police Officer Ismail Kharak told Dawn that the fleeing suspects had also been identified and would be arrested soon.

Published in Dawn, August 31st, 2018