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Police operation in Sadiqabad katcha area enters in sixth day

SADIQABAD: Punjab Police operation against criminal gangs in Katcha area of Sadiqabad to recover three hostages has entered its sixth day, ARY News reported on Tuesday.

The police has launched operation against gangs of notorious dacoits Qabil Mazari, Sultoo Shar and other outlaws in Katcha area, police officials said.

The gang of bandits had kidnapped three persons and took refuge in riverine forests along the Indus river, sources said. The gang had demanded ransom money for safe release of the hostages.

ASP Hafeezur Rehman, who is leading the police force in the operation, has said that the police has entered in Katcha Rajwani area of Rajanpur and reached near the hideout of the bandits.

Intense exchange of fire between policemen and bandits started this morning. Policemen fighting with bandits in the difficult terrain have advanced with their armored carrier near the hideout of dacoits, police sources said.

Police officials said that safe recovery of the hostages is their priority.

Notorious bandits from Sindh were also hiding in the area, police sources said.

Rising water level in the river causing difficulties for the police, officials said.

Police launches operation almost every year against bandits in the Katcha area of the Indus River. These areas’ fall into many districts in Punjab and Sindh provinces. The authorities claim that dacoits manage to resettle into the area after each operation.

Many of the operations have been botched attempts in which either the police officers sacrificed their lives or were held hostage. In 2016, a grand operation was launched by the Punjab Police. In the operation, seven policemen were killed and 20 were held hostage by the Chhottu Gang of bandits.

Later, the army and Rangers were called in and the gang finally surrendered to the forces.

Indus riverine forests

The riverine forests in the province of Sindh and southern belt of Punjab have historically remain a hotbed of bandit gangs involved in kidnappings and other crimes on the both banks of the Indus River. These areas are inaccessible and virtually a ‘no go area’ for police and other law enforcement agencies. So as, remain an ideal refuge for the fugitives and bandit gangs operating in the region.

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