LAHORE - A gang of hardened criminals involved in dozens of cases of heinous crimes has so far killed all members of a family one by one in deadly armed attacks in district Vehari putting a question mark on the performance of Punjab police which seem to have miserably failed in providing security to the lives and property of the citizens especially in far flung areas. According to FIRs registered in separate police stations of Vehari, at least nine people including three policemen have been killed by the local hardened criminals due to negligence on the part of district police. Ringleader of the gang Abbas alias Abbasa and its members Adeeb alias Deeba, Rasheed, Nawaz, Taj, Shahid, Jernail, Aish, Naveed alias Kaka, Shabbir and Saeed have been nominated in several cases for murdering nine persons. The ill-fated family of Chak No 243/EB district Vehari has not been provided justice, as the local police officials are still reluctant to take legal action against the hardened criminals fearing life threats by them. The said criminals were also wanted by the district Vehari police in more than 70 other cases of heinous crimes registered against them in various local police stations. Muhammad Ashfaq, a relative of the victim family is now perusing cases registered against the killers. According to local doctors, Ashfaq is so terrified that he had almost lost his senses due to life threats being hurled by the said killers. Sana Ullah narrated this whole horrible tale of the familys assassination with tears in his eyes. He said the criminals had killed Sadiq, his son, brothers and a nephew in the presence of the police guards within a period of last three years. He said the criminal, Abbas alias Abbasa, and his accomplices armed with lethal weapons barged into the house of Muhammad Sadiq in September 2006 and looted cash, gold ornaments and other valuables worth over Rs 0.7 million. He got a case registered against the robbers in Gagu police station of district Vehari. The said criminals hurled life threats to Sadiq and asked him not to pursue the case otherwise they would kill him. The criminals later entered his house in November 2006 and injured his nephew, Muhammad Tufail, critically by opening indiscriminate fire. The police again registered a case against Abbas and his accomplices but no arrest was made. The criminals again warned Sadiq for perusing cases and threatened him. The criminals, who had nurtured grudge, intercepted Sadiq when he was going to a local court along with his young son Muhammad Sajid, brother Muhammad Mushtaq and other relatives on May 28, 2007. The hardened criminals including Abbas, Adeeb alias Adeeba, Rasheed and Nawaz all equipped with weapons including kalashnikoves and pistols opened indiscriminate fire on their rivals. They continued firing for half an hour. According to the FIR, Sajid sustained 18 bullet injuries while Mushtaq received 15 bullet wounds and died at the spot. Sadiq got an FIR registered against the said criminals again in the Gagu police stations for killing his young son and brother but no arrest was made in this regard. The alleged killers again threatened Sadiq of dire consequences and asked him to withdraw his FIRs. Sana Ullah said the relatives and local villagers registered a strong agitation against the brutality and innocent killings of the family members by blocking road for hours. On the agitation, the police high-ups took serious notice of the incident and directed the Vehari police to arrest the hardened criminals and also fixed head money on their arrest. He said a police team conducted raid for the arrest of the said criminals in Burewala in December 2008. On seeing the police, the criminals retaliated and killed two policemen - ASI Karam Hussain and constable Azmat. Abbas and his accomplices got infuriated over the police raid and, this time, they targeted complainant of the FIRs, Sadiq, and shot him dead along with his brother Razzaq and a police constable Ghulam Farid when they were going to a local court in tight police custody to peruse the cases on April 9,2009. The Gagu police registered another FIR against the said criminals on the complaint of victim Sadiqs brother Muhammad Ashfaq. Sana Ullah said he along with other relatives of the victim family informed the IG Punjab Tariq Saleem Dogar as to how a criminal gang had killed all the members of a family in armed attacks. He said Ashfaq who was now complainant of all cases would sleep daily in tight police security. The police have arrested some criminals who are enjoying VIP protocol in the police station, he alleged, adding some political figures of the area were also protecting the killers and using influence to declare them innocent.