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Chotoo gang surrendered to Army

20 April, 2016

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LAHORE: Members of the Chotoo gang surrendered to the Army and were taken into custody by the armed forces, police sources said early Wednesday.

Twenty four policemen taken hostage by the gang at the start of the Rajanpur operation, Zarb-i-Ahan, were released, sources said.

A senior police officer earlier told reporters that the gang had been using the hostages as a human shield to protect their women and children.

Police launched the Rajanpur offensive after a go-ahead from the Interior Ministry last week. After at least six police officials were killed and 24 others taken hostage, the Army announced on April 16 that it would be taking over the operation.

Director General Inter-Services Public Relations Lt-Gen Asim Bajwa had said a cordon was being reinforced and police and Rangers had already been deployed to participate in the operation under the Army.

The Chotoo gang, led by Ghulam Rasool, alias Chotoo, was given a deadline by the Army to surrender on Monday, failing which, the Army said it would begin a full-scale operation in the area.

A source in the police department said that Chotoo had demanded safe passage for himself, his family and some loyal accomplices to proceed to Dubai in return of safe release of the captive policemen.

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