Crime Scene Islamabad
Crime Scene Islamabad

ISLAMABAD, Sep 27 (APP): The Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Police missed 48-hour deadline given by its chief to recover Rs 0.8 million looted from a journalist at gunpoint in Sector I-8/1 of federal capital, as the robbers are still on lose, and awaiting their next target.

Two gun-toting robbers deprived Ishtiaq Ahmed, senior reporter of Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) of Rs 800,000 and pay orders worth Rs 3 million as he arrived at his residence in sector I-8/1 after withdrawing from a private bank in I-8 Markaz on Sept 23.

As per the footage obtained from Safe City and private cameras, the suspected robbers awaited the victim outside the bank and chased him before entering Rawalpindi through Stadium Road after the crime.

According to the CCTV footage, the same two robbers also looted Rs 1.1 million from another man named Arshad in Sector G-9/3 on September 9, after chasing him from F-10 Markaz branch of the same bank. Police suspect they may be involved in more similar incidents.

Following the incident, Station House Officer (SHO) of Industrial Area Police Station Mian Khurram was suspended immediately after Advisor to Prime Minister on Interior Shahzad Akbar took notice of his negligence. Following a meeting with a media delegation, he had also directed the ICT police to trace out the criminals.

Inspector General Islamabad Police Amir Zulfiqar had assured the journalist community to arrest the robbers and recover the looted money within 48 hours.

However, despite passage of four days and availability of footages hinting their escape route, zero progress has yet been achieved to trace out the criminals.

While reiterating 48-hour deadline, ASP Zohaib Ranjha formed teams to arrest the targeted offenders but so far no such arrests were made for identification of the criminals.

Talking to APP, SP Industrial Area Zubair Sheikh said the efforts were underway to arrest the criminals. They are also working to locate them through multiple technical means as well as through traditional methods. He said geo-fencing of the area had also been ordered.

“The police are back to laidback attitude and are now asking me to relax and wait,” said Ishtiaq, the victim of I-8/incident. He said the police were supposed to trace CCTV cameras footage, but unfortunately, they have to be pushed to do their job.

Meanwhile, President National Press Club (NPB) Islamabad Shakeel Anjum, its General Secretary Answer Raza and other journalists from various media houses have expressed their concern over over sluggish policing and urged Advisor to Prime Minister on Interior Shehzad Akbar to direct effective policing and trace of culprits.

President NPC Islamabad Shakeel Anjum said it was very alarming that police officials are asking the victim ‘ relax” who has been deprived of his hard-earned money. He said media community would not ‘relax’ till the arrest of culprits, recovery of amount and security to journalists in the Capital city.