LAHORE: The military spokesperson announced on Wednesday that leader of the infamous Chotoo gang, Ghulam Rasool, along with 13 gang members has “surrendered unconditionally to the army.
Addressing a press briefing regarding the ongoing operation in Rajanpur area, Lt Gen Asim Bajwa said “the military has successfully completed operation Zarb-e-Ahan”.
He also confirmed that the 24 policemen taken hostage by the Chotoo gang have been rescued.
“The army will not vacate this area until all the miscreant elements are neutralised,” Bajwa maintained.
The military media-wing chief said that security forces will eliminate this ‘no-go area’ and any other such area across the country.
Earlier it was reported that members of the Chotoo gang surrendered to the Army and at least 170 gangsters were taken into custody by the armed forces.
Rajanpur District Police Officer Ghulam Mubashir Maikin said the return of hostages to their families was "in process".
A search operation is also being conducted to secure Rajanpur's Kacha area.
Ghulam Rasool alias Chotoo
Police launched the Rajanpur offensive after a go-ahead from the interior ministry. After seven police officials were killed and 24 others taken hostage, the Army announced on April 16 that it would be taking over the operation.
Director General Inter-Services Public Relations Lt-Gen Asim Bajwa had said a cordon was being reinforced and police and Rangers had already been deployed to participate in the operation under the Army.
The Chotoo gang, led by Ghulam Rasool, alias Chotoo, was given a deadline by the Army to surrender on Monday, failing which, the Army said it would begin a full-scale operation in the area.
A source in the police department said that Chotoo had demanded safe passage for himself, his family and some loyal accomplices to proceed to Dubai in return of safe release of the captive policemen, Dawn earlier reported.