ISLAMABAD - Intelligence agencies have found that criminal gangs in the Kacha area of district Rajanpur have sympathisers in local tribes and the police who tip them off about the police movements whenever the latter planned a crackdown on the outlaws.

The agencies have also noted ‘a new wave of sexual assault on females by robbers and outlaws’ and held that the robber gangs are also involved in kidnapping for ransom and other criminal activities. A report prepared by the intelligence agencies and exclusively available with The Nation suggests that the robbers around two dozen in number are posing a serious challenge to the law-enforcing agencies.

“The criminals have more sophisticated weapons as compared to the police, which makes it difficult for police to overpower them. Robber gangs involved in kidnapping for ransom and other criminal activities have their hideouts in Kachi Bannu, Mandri Kacha, Chak Umrani, Kachi Mianwali, and Kachi Moro areas of Tehsil Rajanpur, District Rajanpur,” according to the report.

On August 20, the criminal gangs had kidnapped seven police officials and the next day, the police released three relatives of the ‘Put’ gang in exchange of the seven kidnapped policemen. According to police, the kidnappers were affiliated with Sikhai and Lund gangs.

Declaring the area as a safe haven for the gangsters in the past due to the presence of the banned Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan and other groups in the vicinity, the report said that the Kacha area has implications on the surrounding settled areas as business, agriculture and social life of the people has been adversely affected.

The intelligence agencies have suggested a combined action by Rangers and the Punjab police simultaneously in all parts of Kacha and Machka as they fear that robbers decamp to their hideouts in Machka and adjoining areas when the operation is carried out in Kacha area. They said that a comprehensive strategy needs to be chalked out by the law enforcement agencies for the operation.

Giving further details about the gangs operating in the area, the report said that the ‘Put’ gang is headed by Attaullah ‘Put’, son of Allah Ditta, a resident of Basti Chak Umrani, Tehsil Rojhan, district Rajanpur.

According to the report, the fugitive is presently residing in the Jhat Pat area of Balochistan. However, the other members of the gang are hiding in areas of Kachi Bannu, Mandir Kacha and Chak Umrani. The gang comprises Moj Ali, Bahadur Ali, Abdul Wahid, Fareed, Umer, Qabil, Khadim, Aslam and Allah Ditta son of Sohrab.

The report further said that after the army operation in Kachi Jamal, Lund Gang and Sukhari, the gangs merged into one single ‘Lund gang’ which is being led by Ameen Lund. The head of Sukhani gang (Kabul Sukhani) is injured and is presently settled in Tangwani, Tehsil Kandhkot, District Kashmore Sindh.

According to sources, the gang members are hiding in areas of Kachi Mianwali, Mandri Kachi and Kachi Moro comprise Mujeeb, Najam, Suleman, Yaqoob, Khuda Bakhsh, Liaqat, Allah Wasaya, Moro, Dadlo, Gul Band, Nawab, Sher Zaman, Wadera Azam, Lala and Mustafa.

In 2016, around fifty robbers had surrendered as a result of the army operation in the Katcha area of Rajanpur. The ringleader of the Chotu Gang had laid down arms after the army’s grand operation. However, members of the Chotu gang have once again become active in the area, the sources said.