Gang held for looting dozens of shops in one night

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Quetta traders had alleged that over 80 shops were looted in a single night last month. ─ AFP/File
Quetta traders had alleged that over 80 shops were looted in a single night last month. ─ AFP/File

QUETTA: Police have busted a gang for its alleged involvement in looting a large number of shops in a single night in the Pashtoon­abad area of the provincial capital last month and recovered stolen mobile phones, cash, wristwatches and other items.

Five out of seven members of the gang have been arrested. Four motorbikes and weapons the gang members used in the theft have also been seized.

Traders’ organisations alleged that over 80 shops were looted. However, the police put the figure at 28.

Addressing a press conference, Quetta DIG Abdul Razzaq Cheema said that the gang had seven members and two of them were Afghan nationals. He said the gang members robbed 28 shops in Pashtoonabad on April 1.

The traders’ organisations expressed serious concern over looting of such a large number of shops in an area in a single day. They protested against the theft.

“We constituted two investigation teams to look into the matter,” the DIG said.

He said five out of seven members of the gang had been arrested and efforts for arresting the two others, including its leader, were under way. The police believed that the gang leader had fled to Afghanistan, he added.

Some other senior police officials and Balochistan Traders Association president Rahim Kakar were present at the news conference.

“We have deployed a team of eagle squad in Pashtoonabad area, but we have been requesting traders across the city to install CCTV cameras around their shops.” DIG Cheema said.

The DIG said launching protests and holding rallies were rights of citizens but protesters should avoid blocking roads by setting tyres on fire.

Answering a question, the DIG said the police had received 20 complaints in the limit of the Khaliq Shaheed police station and eight in Pashtoonabad.

He said the police’s Counter Terrorism Department had arrested a terrorist in Quetta.

He announced cash rewards for the police personnel who participated in the action against the gang.

Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2019