RAJANPUR: Over 300 more army personnel have arrived in Kacha Jamal area as operation Zarb-e-Aahan against Chotu gang in the Katcha areas of Rahim Yar Khan and Rajanpur districts entered its 21st day on Monday.
The army has sealed all escape routes of members of the notorious Chotu gang, however, despite it Chotu is defiant to surrender.
Sources said the security forces are set to launch a major ground operation to move forward at the sanctuaries of Chotu, after the army had given the final warning and deadline to the gang members to release the hostage policemen and surrender themselves to security forces by Sunday night.
On Sunday, a curfew imposed for carrying out the operation was relaxed thrice to facilitate the area people, who expressed their satisfaction after the military’s arrival in the region.
Security forces further tightened the noose against the Chhotu gang on Sunday and the police initiated action against nine local facilitators of the gang.
In the Rahim Yar Khan district, Quran Khwani was held for the martyred policemen at different police stations.
Meanwhile, the local population started leaving the area in the wake of the ongoing operation against the gang in the Rojhan Tehsil of Rajanpur district.Along with their belongings, the families were seen shifting to safer places. People are opting for the western belts with their relatives around 25-30 kilometres away from the troubled spot of River Indus.
NNI adds: Security forces said on Sunday the gang leader had been besieged. Sources said efforts were being made to capture the gang leader, Ghulam Rasool alias Chhotu, alive.
Security forces, backed by gunship helicopters, had pounded suspected positions and bunkers, set up by the gang Friday night.
About 200 Pak Army personnel have laid siege to Katcha Jamal area. Army has also brought in its boats in the area for using them in the River Indus if a need arises.
In the Rojhan area, Katcha Thath and Lund Pattan have been declared red zone areas. In Katcha Karachi and Katcha Kamal areas, a door-to-door search was underway for the arrest of facilitators.