LAHORE, Nov 20: The Khanewal police claimed on Tuesday to have recovered two American girls kidnapped for a Rs100 million ransom and shot dead two of the kidnappers in a ‘shootout’ at Harbanspura.
A Lahore police official told Dawn that a Khanewal police team arrested five kidnappers, including two women, on Monday afternoon and killed two of them in a shootout on Tuesday morning, but an FIR lodged with the Harbanspura police station stated that the police party, led by the Makhdoompur SHO, killed two of them when assailants attacked them.
A release issued by Khanewal DPO Shahid Hanif on Tuesday said eight criminals entered the house of Muhammad Bakhsh at Chak 11-8/R (Makhdoompur) during midnight of Nov 11 and kidnapped his grand-daughters Arsha Arshad, 11, and Huma Arshad, 8, besides snatching Rs5,000, gold ornaments and a pistol from the victims.
At the time of fleeing and later through telephonic conversation with Muhammad Bakhsh in Makhdoompur and his sons in the United States, they demanded a ransom of Rs100 million.
The police registered a case under section 458, 395 and 365-A of PPC.
The release further stated that after the incident, the police invesigation teams with the help of intelligence agencies reached Lahore and raided a house in Harbanspura’s Sattar Town from where they arrested Rabia, Saima and Muhammad Amir – all residents of Faisalabad – and recovered the girls from their possession.
The arrested criminals told police that Muhammad Asif (ring leader), Muhammad Akhtar, Muddasir and Zia Virk were about to reach the place very soon. As soon as the police came out, the gangsters arrived there by a car (CEE-7980) and opened fire on the police.
As the police retaliated, Asif and Akhtar were killed while the others managed to escape, according to the press release.
The DPO claimed that the police also recovered a rifle and a pistol after the encounter.