At least two policemen were martyred on Wednesday while conducting a raid against a proclaimed offender (PO) in Peshawar, the capital city police officer (CCPO) said on Wednesday.
CCPO Abbas Ahsan told reporters that a police team, comprising officers of the Cantt Division and other police stations, carried out a raid on a house. Another police officer said that the raid was carried out in Hayatabad neighbourhood, where a proclaimed offender (PO) was hiding.
“As soon as the accused persons saw the police team, they started firing indiscriminately which resulted in the martyrdom of Head Constable Riaz Khan and Constable Jafar Khan,” the police officer said.
He added that the PO, identified as Hamidullah, somehow managed to escape. “When Riaz and Jafar tried to enter the house PO Hamidullah opened firing at them with a pistol. Both of them were injured. They were rushed to the Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC) but both of them succumbed to their injuries,” the police officer said.
He added that the owner of the house, Adnan Hamza, a resident of Bannu, currently residing at Hayatabad, had been arrested and a 9mm pistol was recovered from his possession. Rifles and cartridges were also recovered from the house.
“Unfortunately the PO managed to escape. He was wanted to the police for killing a colleague at a Frontier Constabulary (FC) checkpost in Hayatabad,” he said, adding that a police case had been registered against Hamza as well as Hamidullah for killing two policemen and providing shelter to a PO.
Local residents said that the police had initially claimed that there was a search operation in the area, and that they were fired upon by the residents of a house during the door-to-door search.
Later, the police said that it was a raid to apprehend a PO. “First they claimed that there was a search operation and then they claimed that it was a raid on a PO but the fact is that the raid was conducted by East Cantt police station with the help of Town police outside their own jurisdiction,” a local resident told reporters.
“The local police station was informed only when the policemen died,” he said. “If there was a search operation then the police would have present in the entire locality, but even then the PO escaped. I would not buy this story,” said another resident.
Some residents believed that there was no PO in the area, arguing that the house owner might have mistaken the policemen for bandits and opened fired on them. They said that action should be taken against the police officers who carried out the raid outside their jurisdictions.
The last rites of the two martyred policemen were held at Malik Saad Police Lines. Later the bodies were sent to their ancestral towns for burial.