ISLAMABAD: Police have seen people entering and leaving seven houses in the limits of Shams Colony police that had been sealed by the capital administration in July after crude oil was discovered on their premises.

Police officers told Dawn that crude oil started spilling out of the seven houses when the residents were drilling bores for water. After receiving information, the police reached the area, held an inquiry and requested the capital administration to take action to avoid theft of the natural resource and ensure safety of the residents.

Separate cases were registered at Shams Colony police station against owners of the seven houses on the charge of stealing the natural resource.

They were later arrested too. Besides, the capital administration also sealed the houses on July 15.

On Aug 2, the administration de-sealed one of the houses against Rs500,000 surety bonds, the officers said. But the owner was asked to refrain from making bores on the premises.

Some individuals have taken residences on lease after paying owners huge amounts, police officers say

The owner later approached the Shams Colony police and sought their help to recover his house from the custody of a man from Peshawar who, he alleged, had occupied it. The police called the man to the police station and came to know that there was a lease agreement between him and the owner and under it he legally possessed the house.

Another inquiry by the police showed that some people from Peshawar and Charsadda had approached the owners of the seven houses and asked for their possession against Rs2 million to Rs3 million, the officers said. It was also revealed that they had paid a huge amount to the owners to steal the natural resource.

The police warned the leaseholders to refrain from the practice, the officers said. Later, the police spotted people frequently entering and leaving the houses.

These people came to the houses early in the morning, the officers said and escaped whenever the police reached the spot leaving behind their belongings.

These houses were sealed but due to shortage of manpower police deployment could not be made there, which gave an opportunity to people to steal the crude oil, the officers said.

As the police were countering the illegal act of the people who had rented the houses, the latter started maligning the police, alleging that they (police) had de-sealed one house after getting ‘favour’ from its owner.

Besides, they also started alleging that the police had gotten the houses sealed to build pressure on the leaseholders to offer them ‘favour’.

The police have been busy in security duties and there is no deployment at these houses to counter attempts of the leaseholders. But whenever the police got information, a team reached the houses but every time these people escaped, the officials added.

Some of the people also put political pressure on the police in order to steal the crude oil but the police refused, added the officers.

When contacted, Director Media, SSP Dr Syed Mustafa Tanweer told Dawn that there were complaints and the police acted on it.

Over the allegation that these people had gotten possession of the houses against a huge sum of money, an inquiry was being conducted, the SSP said, adding that action would be taken against officials if any of them was found guilty.

“However, strict action will also be taken against the accusers if they are found maligning and defaming the police for their vested interest,” he added.

Published in Dawn, August 29th, 2021

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