Police launch hunt for absconding ‘drug peddler’

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CHAKWAL: The Chakwal police have launched a major operation in the Salt Range falling in Choa Saidan Shah and Pind Dadan Khan to trace a drug peddler who escaped after an encounter with the police on Friday.

“Two police teams have been constituted to trace the absconder,” District Police Officer (DPO) Mohammad Haroon Joiya told Dawn.

He said both the teams conducted a major search operation in the area on Saturday.

The two suspected drug peddlers have been accused of killing a constable and injuring a police informer during the encounter on Friday evening.

The alleged criminals have been identified as Sher Ali and Lal Shahzada, residents of the Upper Dir district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Lal Shahzada was killed during the shootout with the police.

“We are collecting data from the adjoining districts to get information about the two drug peddlers.

“We have also started registration and verification of labourers working in coalmines,” the DPO added.

On the other hand, three cases have been registered against the two alleged criminals under the charges of terrorism, murder, attempted murder, possessing illegal weapons and drug peddling.

On Friday evening, a police team from the Basharat checkpost in Choa Saidan Shah raided the hideout of the drug peddlers near Aara village. As the police reached the spot, the drug peddlers opened fire.

In the ensuing encounter, constable Samiullah and a drug peddler, Lal Shahzada, were killed and Khalid Mehmood, a police informer, was injured.

Inspector Imtiaz Ahmed Butt has been appointed as the investigating officer.

In his preliminary investigation, he found a pistol, 570gm hashish and 310gm opium on the body of Lal Shahzada.

A police official said no case had been registered against these accused before.

“These drug peddlers had been selling hashish and opium in the area for long. They fixed Friday as their business day,” the official said and added that the drug peddlers arrived in the jungle near Aara village and sat down on a peak of a mountain and sold drugs to addicts mainly labourers on coalmines.

Meanwhile, constable Samiullah was buried on Saturday evening in his native village Thirpal.

His funeral prayer was attended by DPO Haroon Joiya, police officials and a large number of people.

The drug peddler was buried in Choa Saidan Shah.

Published in Dawn, April 3rd, 2017

Courtesy : DAWN

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