LAHORE - Investigation into the murder of a police officer reveals the man fought back bravely after bandits intercepted his private car on the city’s outskirts two weeks ago.

Shadbagh SHO Tajammal Hussain Butt was shot dead at a deserted site in DHA Phase-VII in the limits of Defense-C police station.

Three police teams are investigating the brutal gun-attack in which an officer in uniform was targeted. The teams of CIA, investigation, and operation wings of the city police are desperately hunting for the killers of their colleague.

Senior police investigator Hassan Mushtaq Sukhera told The Nation that the robbers fired multiple shots in panic as they realised the victim was a police officer. “One thing has been established that the officer was shot and killed by robbers. He fought back bravely when the criminals tried to rob him at gunpoint,” SSP Sekhera added.

Tajammal Hussain, father of two, was serving as head of the Shadbagh police station for the last couple of months. One of his children is as young as two-year-old.

Sources close to the investigations said the officer tried to snatch pistol from one of the bandits when he fired multiple shots from a point blank range. Hussain sustained six bullets in the belly, shoulder, leg, and chest. He died instantly.

Sukhera says they have noted similar mugging attempts recently in the same locality, undergoing massive infrastructure development amid rapid urbanisation. “This has been seen as a modus operandi in which real estate customers or buyers were targeted by motorcyclists.”

He further said the police were already investigating some successful mugging attempts suggesting real-estate agents or their clients as victims.

The SSP (Investigations) said the officer was travelling in his private car along with his two friends when gunmen riding on a motorcycle intercepted his vehicle at a deserted site. “Hussain held the pistol pointed at him as he was sitting in the car with windows open,” the police investigator explained. “We will not take rest until the killers are brought to justice. We are on it and have got some clues,” the officer said.

A friend of Hussain who was present at the crime scene told the investigators that the SHO had asked the gunmen to lay down arms but they fired at him and fled quickly.

Police were investigating to ascertain what actually had happened at the crime scene since the deadly shooting took place in the Defence neighbourhood. The Shadbagh SHO went to a deserted place on city’s outskirts in his private car and without bodyguards.

Earlier, investigators interviewed two friends of the deceased who were travelling in a car along with the officer.

A source close to the investigation teams ruled out the possibility of enmity or personal grudge as reason behind the gun attack. “We are also examining record of the criminals who have a history of violence,” he said.

It was also learnt that the police were grilling some suspects in connection with the killing of the station house officer.

City police department has already sent a formal request to the central police office for declaring the officer as a “martyr” in official record since he died in uniform while fighting back criminals.

Following the deadly shooting, the police had launched a probe to ascertain whether the officer was killed by criminals or he was targeted over personal enmity.

Lahore DIG (Operations) Dr Haider Ashraf yesterday paid rich tributes to the officers who lost their lives or got crippled while fighting criminals and militants in recent years.

He was addressing a ceremony held at the Police Lines Qila Gujjar Singh to honour the sacrifices of policemen. “I am short of words. Felt myself very small in front of these great men,” he said while referring to the officers who lost their limbs in bomb blasts or gun attacks.

During the ceremony, the DIG met one-by-one the policemen who have lost their eyes, legs, or hearing in the line of duty. Some of them were crippled and paralysed. Others were suffering from permanent disability since they had been injured in terrorism, encounters, hot pursuits, raids, and during picketing.

Haider Ashraf described these cops as real heroes saying, “I salute to these "ghazis" (one who returns successful from war). They sacrificed their future to make our future safe.”

He also assured the policemen that the department would continue working for the welfare of the policemen and their families.