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Mystery shrouds killing of two policemen in Hayatabad raid

Mystery shrouds killing of two policemen in Hayatabad raid

PESHAWAR: Two policemen were killed allegedly during a raid on a house to arrest a proclaimed offender after an inmate opened firing on them in Phase-VII area of Hayatabad late on Tuesday.

On the other hand, the family, whose house was raided, denied the assertion of police and claimed that the policemen, who turned up at their door around midnight, had disguised themselves as food delivery boys.

Police said that the incident took place at around midnight when a police party looking for PO identified as Hameedullah, a resident of Bannu, came under fire in Hayatabad that left two cops dead.

The slain cops identified as head constable Riaz Khan and constable Jaffer Khan of East Cantonment police station were injured and later died of wounds.

Capital City Police Officer Abbas Ahsan told Dawn that a police party comprising officers of Cantonment division and accompanied by other police were carrying out an operation for the arrest of the PO on a tip-off. He said that as soon as the accused saw the police party, he opened straight firing on it, resulting in the martyrdom of head constable Riaz Khan and constable Jafar Khan.

House inmates, police narrate conflicting views about the incident

He said that the accused identified as Hamza was arrested and weapon of offence (9mm pistol) was recovered from his possession. He said that 16 empties of 9mm were collected from the crime scene. “During search of house, one 223 rifle loaded with 20 cartridges, 30 bore pistol with six bullets and three loaded magazines and one small machinegun with 27 rounds were recovered,” he added.

Police booked Hamza and PO Hameedullah under sections 302, 324, 353 of Pakistan Penal Code, Section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act and Section 15 of Arms Act.

On the other hand, the family, whose house was raided, denied knowing or having any links with anyone named Hameedullah.

Dr Salwa, a doctor at Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC) and a sister of Hamza, told Dawn that police turned up at their door after 11pm, disguised as food delivery boys. She said that her brother and a house helper opened the gate and the people outside, who had covered themselves with big shawls, tried to drag her brother outside.

She said that that the scuffle led to the firing, which was in self-defence. She said that later they called Tatara police station and informed it about the incident. She added that police reached the scene beat them up and also took away the CCTV camera recordings.

Dr Salwa said that they saw a pizza delivery service motorbike and another motorcycle belonging to a food delivery service and an unmarked vehicle parked outside their house. She claimed that the same time a pizza delivery boy had reported at Tatara police station that some police personnel snatched his motorbike at gunpoint.

She said when one of her family members removed the shawl from an injured he was found donning police uniform. She said that they had enmity in their ancestral town Bannu while her bother Hamza had escaped kidnappings twice.

SP Cantonment circle Zunair Ahmed Cheema told Dawn that both the PO and family in question belonged to the same area, though not related. He said that they suspected the family helped the PO to escape after the firing.

The SP said that the accused fired 16 straight rounds, eight of which hit the police personnel. He said that police personnel did not open firing.

He questioned as to why the family did not let the police search the house if it was not hiding something. He said that soon after the incident, the family started to spread different version of stories about the raid. He also denied police personnel taking away CCTV cameras records from the house.

PO Hameedullah was a soldier of Frontier Constabulary and had murdered his fellow soldier Ameer Daraz on July 1, 2021, following a spat.

Both of the FC personnel belonged to Domail area of Bannu and were deployed at checkpost No.12 in the limits of Tatara police station.

Published in Dawn, November 25th, 2021

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