LAHORE - The Lahore Police on Monday claimed to have recovered 47 assault rifles and huge cache of bullets in its special campaign against illegal weapons, a police spokesperson said on Monday.

As part of the National Action Plan, the city police had launched special crackdown on illegal weapons and those involved in this trade two weeks ago.

The police have seized 47 rifles including Kalashnikovs, 7MM, 12-bore, 244-bore and pump-action rifles and cartridges worth million of rupees.

Lahore Police chief Muhammad Amin Wains ordered SSP (Investigation) Rana Ayaz Saleem to launch crackdown against those possessing illegal arms under which special teams of the investigation wing were activated throughout the city.

Different police teams of Nolakha, Lorry Adda, Ravi Road, Badami Bagh, Bhati Gate, Misri Shah, Gowalmandi, Mochi Gate, Shafiqabad, New Anarkali, Tibi City, Data Darbar, Manawan, Defence-A, Defence-B, Hadiara, North Cantt, Barkai, Factory Area, Nawab Town and Township police stations arrested 78 criminals and recovered firearms worth Rs 5.8 million.

SSP Saleem stressed the need upon the police to further expedite the campaign against illegal arms, complete the investigation of the cases immediately and solve the problems of common citizens.

He said the quality investigation into the cases would be ensured and those involved in poor investigation would not be spared.

‘Robber’ killed in encounter: An alleged robber was killed while another arrested with bullet injuries during an armed encounter with police in Islampura on Monday.

According to the police, the bandits were fleeing after committing robbery at the house of a jeweler, Faheem, when a police patrolling squad challenged them at Outfall Road. The robbers opened fire on the police and the cops also retaliated.

One of the bandits died on the spot while his accomplice was arrested with bullet injuries. He was shifted to a hospital by the police. Further investigation is in process.

‘Extortionists’ granted bail: The Lahore High Court Monday granted bail to three men allegedly involved in demanding extortion from the local merchants of Akbari gate after two witnesses of the case turned hostile.

During the proceedings, Justice Abdul Sami Khan directed the accused to furnish Rs 200,000 each as bail bond.

Three accused, Salman Irshad, Zeeshan Irshad and Arslan, had filed the bail petitions and stated that local police had lodged fake FIR against them. They said they had never demanded extortion from the traders. They also told the judge that they had developed consensus with the complainant party and the witnesses, and requested for bail.

However, the prosecution opposed their bail petition saying that the accused demanded extortion from Imran Butt, the complainant, in Akbari Mandi area and also carried out aerial firing.

The prosecution further said that Habib-ur-Rehman and Aslam were the witnesses of the case but they had turned hostile and refused to identify the accused.

After hearing both sides and pursuing case record, the bench accepted the bail of the accused and ordered their release.