Police comb Shah Di Khoi for militants, net PU employees


The Muslim Town Police conducted a late night search operation in the Shah Di Khoi area last week following information that militants were hiding there. They took eight suspects into custody that night, only to find out later that three of them were employees of the Punjab University, sources said on Tuesday.
The sources in Muslim Town police station said that police had been monitoring Shah Di Khoi for the last one month, as they had received a tip-off that militants had sought refuse in the area. Police sources said the police would continue to monitor the area and conduct more search operations if need be.
Providing details of the operation, official sources said that a heavy police contingent encircled the entire area but “could not prevent the militants from escaping”. They said police was checking the identification cards of Shah Di Khoi’s residents and had also warned the locals to submit the record of those residing in the area.
Eight suspects were taken into custody because they were not able to produce their NICs, they claimed. According to PU Assistant Security Officer Muhammad Shokat, the eight suspects arrested included PU security guard Ahmad Nawaz, naib qasid (peon) Surat Hussain and university student Zeeshan
Shah Di Khoi is adjacent to PU and around 1,000 homes are situated in the area. According to available data, Shah Di Khoi houses three colonies – Mayo Colony, Christian Colony and Punjabi Colony – and around 400 houses out of the 1,000 had been rented out to students and people from different parts of the country.
Javed, a resident of Shah Di Koi, told Pakistan Today that most of the rented houses were located in the Punjab Colony, and the majority of these were being used as makeshift hostels. According to a politically-active resident of Shah Di Khoi, hundreds of outsiders had hired houses in the area and the landlords did not bother investigating the tenants’ backgrounds.
Muslim Town Station House Officer Shoaib Khan said that police searched Shah Di Khoi for security purposes and no one had managed to escape during the operation. However, another official of Muslim Town police station said that the area was still under observation but it seemed that the suspected militants had managed to escape.
Security inadequate: PU students, meanwhile, expressed their apprehension over the situation. Abrar, a varsity student, said that security measures were inadequate and the students of Islamic Study, MBA, Institute of Administrative Sciences, Institute of Mycology and Plant Pathology – the departments situated near
Shah Di Khoi – were concerned about their safety. He said the area had indeed become a hub of crime and incidents of theft and armed robberies occurred with increasing frequency.