VEHARI/MAILSI

A dacoit was killed while two police officers embraced martyrdom during operation dacoits continued for the past three days against dacoits holed up in 200 acres of corn fields in 113/WB Mitroo, Tehsil Mailsi.

According to Vehari District Police Officer (DPO) Sadiq Dogar, the operation is successfully continued in 113/WB Mitroo, saying that army helicopters would also be called in if needed. As per details, more than 2,000 police officers from Multan, Lodhran, Khanewal and Vehari district are taking part in the operation while at least 50 teams of Elite Force and four armoured vehicles have also been arranged.

The DPO claimed that notorious dacoit Khalid alias Khaldi had been killed in the operation and it would be accomplished soon after achieving desired results.

It is to be recalled that the operation was started three days ago a band of armed dacoits attacked a house in the area. The outlaws killed a head constable namely Arshad Kharal while escaping the scene. Later, they holed up maize crop fields spread over a vast area.

Following the incident, police force was called in from the neighbouring districts and a strategy was drawn to eliminate the outlaws. Since then intermittent exchange of firing continued between the police personnel and the dacoits. On Tuesday, the police claimed to have killed notorious dacoit Khalid alias Khalidi. On the other hand, the long operation and a war-like situation in the area has caused fear and panic in the surroundings and rural community is feeling unsafe.

Lawyers including Ch Nazir Sanghera, Ihtishaul Haq, Kashif Shah, Sultan Gujjar, Muhammad Shafqat Joyia, Malik Akhtar Nadeem, Chaudhry Amjad Afzal and civil society activist criticized the police for poor performance, saying that it seemed few dacoits were more powerful than the police of four districts, adding that the so-far-failed operation against the outlaws had put a question mark on the capacity and efficiency of the police department. They demanded the Punjab chief minister to take notice of the poor performance of police, especially the Vehari police.

Meanwhile, Multan RPO Amjad Javed Saleemi and DPO Sadiq Ali Dogar told to the journalists that the police had successfully 70 percent operation and it would be accomplished soon.