MUZAFFARABAD: One of the five proclaimed offenders, who were involved in the murder of seven people 18 years ago, has finally been arrested.

Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) police were able to trace him with the help of surveillance, an official toldDawn.

Five members of a family and two passersby were killed and two others injured by their rivals on Manak Road near Dera Sain Niamat of Narowal on the morning of Oct 14, 2002. The victim party had named 15 people in the first information report (FIR) including four brothers. Ten of the suspects were arrested while five were declared proclaimed offenders (POs). Of the detained persons, four were found not-guilty and freed while six were prosecuted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

AJK Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr Sohail Habib Tajik told Dawn that Jahangir Khan, one of the five POs, was arrested on Thursday during routine checking at an entry point in Poonch district with the help of the digital sentinel system.

According to the police chief, the system has given AJK police access to the data of nearly three million criminals, compiled by all counter terrorism departments of all provinces of Pakistan.

“As soon as the police personnel at the Azad Pattan entry point scanned the QR code of Jahangir Khan’s computerised national identity card it showed his entry in the list of wanted criminals following which he was taken into custody,” he said, adding that the PO had been handed over to Narowal police.

The IGP asserted that the sentinel surveillance was the best system in Pakistan whereby police could peep into the record of any citizen with a simple android phone.

“They [police personnel] turn on the camera, flash on the identity card and if the person concerned has any criminal record in any area of the country, they get its details,” he said.

Mr Tajik said police were using it not only at the entry and exit points but also in urban centres, public transport stands and political and religious gatherings.

On Friday, he said, police had arrested another court absconder, namely Anees, at the Azad Pattan entry point after he entered to the territory in a Suzuki car he had stolen from Rawalpindi’s Pirwadhai area.

Published in Dawn, January 15th, 2022

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