GUJRAT: Police claimed on Sunday that four gangsters who allegedly raped two lady health workers during a robbery last month in Bheelwal, near Gujrat, had been killed in an ‘encounter’.
Sohail Zafar Chattha, the district police officer of Gujrat, told Dawn that police had formed four teams to nab the suspects and managed to arrest them from various parts of Punjab.
As the arrested suspects were being driven to a hideout in Kot Ghulam village for recovery of looted items and weapons, he said, some of their accomplices attacked the vehicle they were travelling in to get them freed from police custody. An ‘encounter’ between police and the assailants ensued.
Mr Chattha said that all the four suspects were killed in the encounter. The assailants managed to flee from the scene. Police identified three of the slain suspects as Liaquat of Meonwal, Husnain of Bheelwal and Iftikhar of Mota Kalan.
Police removed their bodies to the Aziz Bhatti Shaheed Teaching Hospital, where they were later handed over to their heirs after autopsy.
Sources said the body of the fourth suspect, identified as Arshad, was still in the custody of police.
Police said the gang was involved in a number of cases where women were raped during robberies at houses in areas falling under the jurisdiction of the Tanda police station.
Three women staffers were residing at the Basic Health Unit in Bheelwal, two of whom were allegedly gang-raped by the gangsters during a robbery on Dec 29, the sources said.