Lahore police launched a massive crackdown on the top ‘underworld dons’ of the city, raiding their houses and dens. The crackdown was carried against a total number of 73 ‘underworld dons’ out of which 60 have been arrested.
The operation began in the late hours of Tuesday and continued into the early hours on Wednesday. This exercise was done on the basis of updated lists of these thugs, which were provided to all the superintends (SPs) of the city.
According to the details of the 44 FIRs launched by the police a large number of illegal weapons have also been discovered from them, including 3 Kalashnikovs, rifles, pistols, and thousands of live bullets. This operation was launched on the directive of Capital City Police Officer Ghulam Mahmood Dogar.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Investigation Abdul Ghaffar Qaisrani while speaking to the media told that “These 73 hardened thugs were on the list of first and second-tier underworld dons that was provided to all the divisional SPs of the city while ensuring complete secrecy to ensure maximum arrests.”
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Own justice system and state within the state
Many of these dons are said to be so influential that they were patronized by police officials, lawyers, journalists, and politicians, to such an extent that they had created a ‘state within the state’.
Qaisrani explained that these criminals had created their own justice system through which they settled cases of murder, kidnappings, robberies, etc. They used force and coercion by terrorizing and frightening the locals into bringing their disputes and problems for settlement.
“It was a massive exercise that we conducted because these hardened criminals were deciding police cases by setting up their own courts at their dens/outhouses for money,” said Qaisrani. “They would take fee/share in cash from them (parties to the disputes) for deciding their cases,” the further told the media.
These thugs had become a ‘symbol of terror’ in Lahore and carried out heinous crimes like murders through hitmen, gambling, extortion, and illegal occupation of the land of citizens. The workings of these dons and their groups were responsible for the increased crime rate and creating legal problems for the police.
This “fearless raid” was carried out against these hardened criminals who were proclaimed offenders and were registered and wanted in many criminal cases in various police stations in the city.
“The crackdown and arrests of these goons will help police in creating a sense of security among the people of these areas and in eliminating their underground networks,” the SSP said. Most of them originally hailed from the walled city and were connected to dangerous criminal backgrounds.
During the massive operation, 27 were arrested from the city division, 13 were arrested from the Iqbal Town division while the other 12 were arrested from the Civil Lines division.