Aaj English TV

Wednesday, May 22, 2024  
13 Dhul-Qadah 1445  

Dacoits in Kacha deploy online advertisements to lure kidnapping victims

Police rescue more than 20 kidnapped people in Ghotki's Raonti operation
A police vehicle arrives at Raonti, Ghotki during operation against the dacoits. Screengrab
A police vehicle arrives at Raonti, Ghotki during operation against the dacoits. Screengrab
An armoured vehicle of police at Raonti, Ghotki during operation against the dacoits. Screengrab
An armoured vehicle of police at Raonti, Ghotki during operation against the dacoits. Screengrab
A policeman poses with the people rescued in operation at Raonti, Ghotki. Screengrab
A policeman poses with the people rescued in operation at Raonti, Ghotki. Screengrab

GHOTKI: Local traders should beware of fake advertisements on social media. One might think this is nothing new. But it is. Dacoits in the riverine areas, locally known as Kacha areas in Pakistan’s Sindh and Punjab, have kidnapped local traders for ransom after posting fake advertisements on social media.

“Dacoits run ads on social media offering tractors and mazda [local name for vans] for sale on low prices. Buyers who arrive in Ghotki [for this purpose] are kidnapped,” Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Tanveer Tunio told Aaj News.

What prompts them is the cheap cost — for example, a vehicle worth Rs2 million being sold at Rs1 million. The technique is way different from the last one when they used marriage offers via fake calls (in which they speak in a female voice) as bait to trap the people from other provinces.

“Lady wife” is the term used for such relationships.

 A long queue of police vehicles at Raonti, Ghotki during operation against the dacoits. Screengrab
A long queue of police vehicles at Raonti, Ghotki during operation against the dacoits. Screengrab

Kandhkot of Kashmore tehsil, which connects with the district from the backside of the riverine, has also been a victim of such traps. They staged a sit-in in November against the kidnappings. They were perturbed by the police’s apparent inability to register the first information report of the abduction.

At least 20 kidnapped traders have so far been rescued from the Kacha areas of Ghotki, Sindh—the last district of the province—in police operations over the past few days. The operation against the extortionists is under way since November 5, 2022, when the dacoits killed five policemen in a gun fight with them.

The operation is being conducted in the Raonti area of the riverine that touches Punjab’s Rahim Yar Khan. It is situated at the junction of Sindh and Punjab.

It has a population of more than 15 million, according to estimates. But, the area where the operation is being conducted is less populated, with numbers ranging from 4,000 to 5,000.

Sources said that the police policy of nominating locals in different FIRs at whims was prompting the locals to enter the crime world.

It has been like fighting in another’s battleground for the police as they have struggled to target dacoits due to jungle and sugarcane fields, sources said. The police also used gunship helicopters in the last operation to pound kidnappers’ hideouts.

One would still think about how the group gets arms. Sources told Aaj News that it was bought from the ransom money and it came from Balochistan and KP unassembled.

They added that members of the notorious group were also attacking the police in revenge for the killing of their leader Sultu Shar, who according to the police was shot dead on September 21, 2022.

SSP Tunio in conversation via mobile did not give any specific figure about the kidnappers killed in operations. But he maintained that the number crossed over a dozen.

 A policeman poses with the people rescued in operation at Raonti, Ghotki. Screengrab
A policeman poses with the people rescued in operation at Raonti, Ghotki. Screengrab

“As many as 25 traders, who came in the district for lucrative offers, were saved from getting abducted. Most of them belong to Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” he said.

Five more were rescued by the police in the Raonti operation, said a statement. They belonged to Pishin, Quetta, and Hyderabad. At least two dacoits were injured in the exchange of fire with the police.

“Bandits have kidnapped many people,” it said.

When Aaj News reached out to locals about the perception of the notorious group, there were mixed reviews based on their localities. The people living in the tribe of the people linked to kidnappers denounced such operations while others supported the countermeasures.

Shar, Dondho, Pehwar, Selra, Chachar are the five tribes in the district.

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sindh

police

Ghotki

abduction

kandhkot

kacha area