Escape of auto-thief still a mystery
The alleged escape of a notorious auto-thief, Jan Agha alias Chota Zazay, from the custody of the Islamabad police remains a mystery after nearly a week. This is the second time he has managed to slip in about a year.
So far contradictory versions are being offered by insiders and the police who refuse even to acknowledge his arrest. A senior police officer told Dawn that Jan Agha had been operating an auto-theft gang for the last seven years with 14 members.
“He had been arrested several times before, but managed to escape police custody within days,” he added.
The gang had initially stolen motorcycles and later switched to picking up more expensive cars such as Toyota Corolla’s XLI and GLI. In Islamabad, the gang was striking in Margalla, Shalimar, Industrial Area, Sabzi Mandi, and Aabpara areas.
“The gang is also highly skilled in jamming the tracker system (GPRS) and uses modern and sophisticated equipment,” the officer added. “They also fake registration books of the vehicles which indicated that they have links with different excise and taxation departments of the country.”
Sources within the police allege that Jan Agha had been arrested by the ACLC a month back in Peshawar and was brought to Islamabad. However, his arrest was not brought on record to pressure him to release details of stolen vehicles.
He was detained in the CIA’s lockup, because the police did not want to rely on the ACLC detention cell, as he had managed to escape from there in March 2012 through a self-created gap measuring one by-one-foot in the window by bending the iron rods.
The next day, on March 24, 2012, the inspector general of police Islamabad had suspended the entire staff – over 100
policemen – of the station, except the additional station house officer.
The ACLC believed that the confinement room of the CIA would detain the accused successfully and he would not be able to escape. Probably this is the reason that the police are wary of accepting his arrest, because that would land them into trouble.
“His illegal detention in the CIA would create problems for the police if they admitted that he fled from the custody. Hence, they have twisted the story and are claiming that he ran away when the ACLC was about to arrest him,” the source alleged.
According to the First Information Report (FIR) registered on January 29 with the Sabzi Mandi police by ACLC’s Sub-Inspector Mohammad Afzal, the ACLC staff had received information that some notorious auto-thieves were smuggling charas
(marijuana) into the capital city in a stolen car.
The informer is said to have told the police, “Timely action against the riders will lead to their arrest.”
In response, the ACLC set a picket at I.J. Principal Road near Social Security Hospital in I-12/1, where the car was intercepted.
“All of a sudden two people sitting at the rear seat and front seat adjacent to the driver disembarked from the car and ran towards Rawalpindi. Three policemen – a sub-inspector and two constables – chased them, but they managed to escape. One of the men also opened fire at the police with a 30-bore pistol,” the FIR added.
Interestingly, all the policemen were equipped with weapons, including SMG and pistol, but the culprits escaped.
The other policemen at the picket overpowered the driver of the car and during its search recovered 1.50 kilogramme charas, a jammer with GSM, DSS, 3DMA and a 3G antenna.
Later, the man along with the car and the recovery was shifted to the police station for legal action. A case was registered against the driver – Fazal-i-Haq – and the two escapees – Jan Agha, and Wali Khan, the nephew of Ghucha Gul, a notorious receiver of stolen cars.
The car used that day was tracked down and it was found that it had been stolen from the Margalla area in December 2007.
However, sources in the police said Jan Agha was arrested a month back in Peshawar and later brought to Islamabad and detained at the CIA centre from where he escaped.
During interrogation by the CIA officials, Jan Agha had disclosed that he paid Rs2.5 million to the officials of the Kural police station to get their help to escape in March 2012.
The sources claimed that this time again Jan Agha escaped from a self-created gap in the detention cell of the CIA.
“Money must have changed hands now, and a few guards have been taken into custody,” the source added. However, the CIA denied any suspension and removal of its staff.
“Transfer from the CIA to other wings is a routine matter. Besides, the suspension was not related with the escape,” the CIA officer said.