RAWALPINDI: Three people, including two officials of the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF), were martyred during an exchange of fire with alleged smugglers near Tarkai Toll Plaza in Jhelum on Wednesday.

According to the ANF spokesman, the shootout started when the authorities signalled a car to stop near the toll plaza.

Instead of stopping, the car driver sped off, the spokesman said. ANF staff followed and during the chase, the occupants of the vehicle started firing, martyring Head Constable Gulzar and Lance Naik Mazar and a civilian volunteer Zeeshan. The suspects managed to escape, leaving their car behind.

Police and Rescue 1122 teams reached the spot and shifted the bodies to Jhelum District Headquarters Hospital where the doctors conducted an autopsy.

A team from the Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA) also arrived at the site and collected evidence. It was learnt that the suspects were travelling in a rented car and managed to flee the scene on foot. The police have taken the driver of the vehicle into custody and started investigation.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi expressed grief and sorrow over the martyrdom of two ANF personnel and a civilian in the firing by drug traffickers in Jhelum. The minister paid rich tributes to the martyrs and offered condolence to their families.

He prayed to elevate the ranks of the martyrs and grant patience and strength to their loved ones.

Naqvi said the sacrifices of the ANF personnel who laid down their lives in the operation against drug traffickers would not go in vain and vowed to bring the perpetrators of the incident to justice.

Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2024

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