MUZAFFARABAD: The Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) police have arrested two suspects belonging to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) after seizing a good quantity of arms and ammunition from their vehicle during a routine checking at the territory’s border with Punjab.

SSP in Mirpur Kamran Ali told Dawn over telephone that head constable Mohammad Shafique and constable Amjad Ali intercepted a Toyota Corolla car with Sindh number plate at Dhan Galli picket after it entered the AJK territory from neighbouring Punjab at 11am.

As the two persons showed reluctance to open the boot of their car, the policemen got alerted and upon search recovered the illegal cache in small cardboard boxes, the SSP said.

After handcuffing the suspects, both policemen drove them to Dadyal in the seized vehicle as immediately they were unable to seek reinforcement from their police station concerned due to lack of communication facilities in Dhan Galli.

Civil society sources in Dadyal told Dawn that despite being a sensitive border village, Dhan Galli was not only devoid of electricity but also of strong signals of almost all mobile phone networks which was why the two policemen had to shift the accused to Dadyal on their own.

SSP Ali praised both of them as “real heroes” for their exemplary bravery in the face of a challenging situation and lack of resources.

Interestingly, after a short drive from Dhan Galli, one of the accused made the car stop on the pretext of relieving himself and in doing so managed to flee from the scene.

However, he was captured from a nearby jungle after a two hours long manhunt by a police team led by the local DSP Chaudhry Ansar and SHO Ammar Dar.

SSP Ali said the seized cache, destined for Kotli district, included three Kalashnikovs, two 44-bore rifles, two 223-bore rifles, 18 12-bore rifles, 19 30-bore pistols and 56 magazines containing more than 11,000 bullets.

The suspects were initially booked under section 15 (3) of the Arms Act but more sections would be added to the FIR after investigations, he said.

According to him, another two persons from KP who were allegedly escorting the seized vehicle in a Suzuki Cultus had slipped out after the arrest of their colleagues.

“However, we are keeping a sharp lookout for them and their seizure will help us unearth and bust the whole network,” he said.

Published in Dawn, January 5th, 2022

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