LAHORE: The Punjab police in a massive “search operation” launched at a village in Kasur district in the wee hours on Thursday took into custody five more relatives of Abid Malhi, the fleeing suspect in the motorway gang rape, and shifted them to Lahore for ‘questioning’.
A heavy contingent of the personnel of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD), Crime Investigation Agency (CIA), Lahore and Kasur district police took part in the operation launched at Rao Khan Wala village, where the presence of the suspect was tipped off.
A senior police officer told Dawn the raid was carried out when the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) detected calls of Malhi, made to his relatives at Kasur.
The police teams were immediately dispatched from Lahore to Kasur, and a heavy deployment was made in two-kilometer radius of the village. During the operation, the police took into custody two cousins of Malhi, a woman and his two other relatives, the police official said. They were later transported by police vans to Lahore under tight security for questioning, he added.
Earlier, the police had ‘nabbed’ a brother, father, wife and a minor daughter of the suspect from various cities of Punjab.
Some police officers, seeking anonymity, told Dawn that the incumbent police command was using the “old method” of picking relatives of a person wanted in a criminal case.
They said under the notorious method, that had been condemned at various forums in the past, the police kept harassing the family members, relatives and friends of wanted criminals to keep pressure on them or use information extracted from them to arrest the wanted persons.
They regretted that the police even took Malhi’s minor daughter in custody who had nothing to with the case.
Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2020