Rajanpur operation a hard nut to crack for police

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Army’s help being considered

Sophia Siddiqui

Islamabad—The ongoing law enforcement operation in riverine Rajanpur district of South Punjab is proving to be a hard nut to crack for Punjab police who lack proper training and equipment to conduct operations in the in the area.
At least six police officials have been killed, and 27 police officials were taken hostage by the gangsters in the ongoing operation while seven gangsters have also been killed in the ongoing operation. One of the sources put the figure of police personnel killed in the operation much higher.
Police sources lamented that the police personnel deployed in the operation, named Zarb-i-Ahan, lack proper equipment, weapons and boats to launch an assault on the island. We used two boats that we acquired privately from locals but we were attacked and lost six men, while 27 were taken hostage, said the police officials.
According to details driver of one of the boats was shot dead, during the sally launched by security forces towards the gangster-controlled island.
The police officials also confirmed that police have been unable to secure the 20km-long piece of stretch. According to sources, the provincial government is considering to seek Army’s help after the failure of police force to eradicate the gangsters at the earliest. They are getting continuous reinforcements from gangs in and around the area and forces have been unable to secure the area, elaborated the police officials.
In the absence of an effective cordon being established around the island, the gangsters will continue to get reinforcements and supplies. Around 200 gangsters are still fighting against police forces.
The police officials blamed poor operational planning by the police department for the casualties sustained, and added the weapons being used by the gangsters are sophisticated modern arms, resulting in the attacking police force often being outgunned and outranged.
The Punjab Police had requested helicopter gunship support from Pakistan Army, but the support is yet to materialize. Mushtaq Sukhera, the IG Punjab, had visited frontline check posts on the other day to review the operational strategy. Other senior officials of police and Rangers accompanied him. He hoped that we will eliminate these evil elements of society very soon.

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