LAHORE - Some big names of the Lahore underworld and several senior police officers are being questioned in connection with the deadly Sessions Court shooting, police sources said Friday.

Four gangsters attacked and killed their rival, Amjad Lateef Gujjar, who was brought to the court for hearing of a murder case. A head constable, Asif Iqbal, was also killed in the brazen gun attack that triggered panic in the lower courts during rush hours, a couple of days ago.

Police officials, many of whom often maintain a cosy relationship with gangsters of all hue and colour, are now desperately hunting for the attackers after the death of their colleague. Many photos of the alleged shooters with police officers are circulating in the social media following the shooting that came right outside the courtroom.

A senior police officer requesting anonymity told The Nation that the police are in touch with some “big names” of the Lahore underworld to trace the whereabouts of the attackers. He also said that a number of police officers including several station house officers were also interrogated by a special police team during the last couple of days.

“The first thing (in this case) is to arrest the attackers. This double murder case will be investigated thoroughly and all characters involved will be scanned accordingly,” the officer said. “We are also investigating how the attackers reached the courtroom with automatic weapons.”

Another police investigator who also spoke to this reporter on the condition of anonymity said the involvement of policemen in the deadly gun attack could not be ruled out. When asked about the photos of the alleged shooters with officer, he said that a high-powered investigating team is looking into this case keeping in view all aspects of the happening.

On the other hand, a source in the underworld revealed that the shooters were best friends of many senior officers. “In fact, they (shooters) were the front-men of several SHOs, SPs, and even SSPs,” said the man and preferred his name not be mentioned.

He also said that several police officers, who are active in the business of disputed properties in the metropolis, had developed friendship with the attackers over the years. According to him, the attackers had planned the shooting in connivance with some policemen.

A police official who is also working on this double murder case was of the view that the whole police department was embarrassed because of the fatal shooting. “Gun attacks inside the courts are common.

But the way, they attacked was carried out was more disturbing for a disciplined force,” he said. “The attackers will be brought to justice at any cost,” he claimed.

It was not clear yet whether the shooters themselves uploaded their photos with police officers on the social media or their opponent group did this to exploit the situation.

City police on Thursday registered the double murder case against four gunmen. The case was registered with the Islampura police on the complaint of a police officer. The FIR was lodged under section (302/34, 324/353, 186 of the PPC and section 7 of the antiterrorism act). Two of the four gunmen were nominated in the FIR. They were named by police as Touqeer Ahmad and Ebadat Ali alias Bado.

As police along with suspects came out of the court-room after a hearing, the gunmen who were waiting for their opponents in the corridor opened straight fire on them with pistols. The attackers also fired on the police when the officials tried to retaliate. The victims were shot multiple times. The attackers fled instantly after the shooting.

 Punjab Police Inspector General Arif Nawaz Khan Thursday told reporters that criminals would be brought to justice “as early as possible.”

Disclaimer

There are multiple sources of the information given in this story, both official and non-official. Often, the sources in police and underworld would desire to serve their vested interests while providing information on such matters, but we have tried our best to sift the info and present it in a way that it could only serve the public interest.

Only four photos are being printed with this story as examples. Otherwise, there are dozens of such photographs that show that majority of police officers privately meet with different gangsters. They however try to justify their links with the underworld, calling it a demand of their work.