LAHORE - Police have launched a rare crackdown in the provincial capital to arrest Top-20 “Badmash” nominated in several cases of murder, land grabbing, gambling and extortion.

The police’s operation to hunt down these hardened criminals comes a few weeks after Prime Minister Imran Khan had strictly ordered the law enforcement agency (LEA) to bring them to justice. According to a police document available with The Nation, a list bearing the names of at least 20 goons of the city has been sent to field officers most recently.

The particulars of some of the gang leaders of the city’s underworld, including Gogi Butt, Tajja Gujjar, Ameer Balaj, and Mansha Bomb are also given in the updated lists.

Police record reveals these “Badmash” have remained involved in multiple cases of heinous crimes. They have been running underground networks for the last several years.

A police official told The Nation that special teams were conducting raids to arrest the goons who had become a symbol of terror in the provincial metropolis. “The police are hunting for all the 20 goons. All of them will be arrested very soon,” the official said on the condition of anonymity.

Butt, Gujjar, Balaj, Bomb among the updated lists

On the other hand, a police spokesman on Saturday said that three notorious criminals, namely Muhammad Ilyas alias Ilyas Gujjar, Feroz Khan alias Paindo, and Muhammad Javed alias Bodi were arrested by police during a crackdown.

The spokesman said the police were tightening the screws on gangsters on the orders of DIG (Operations) Rai Babar Saeed and the operation would continue.

“All the three arrested criminals have been sent to jail,” the spokesman said. He said the police had also recovered automatic guns and bullets from them.

Sources revealed that a police team stormed the residence of Muhammad Imtiaz alias Tajja Gujjar somewhere in the city, but he fled shortly before the raid.

However, the police seized a pistol and an automatic gun during the raid.

According to the police record, these 20 criminals were involved in several incidents of murder, attempted murder, extortion, land grabbing, gambling, and robberies in the past.

The name of Khawaja Aqeel alias Gogi Butt is on the top of the list followed by Shafqat Mahmood alias Bagga Butt.

The name of Muhammad Ilyas alias Ilyas Gujjar is on the third position in the list of top-20 gangsters followed by Ameer Balaj, son of Arif Ameer alias Tpiu Truckanwala.

The other names, according to the updated list, are of Awais Cheema son of Sultan Cheema, Malik Liaqat Ali Chadoo, Malik Ameer Ali, Muhammad Mansha alias Mansha Bomb, Mian Haseeb alias Mian Vicky, Shaukat alias Shauki Changar, Abid Mahmood, son of Rahmat Ali, Abdul Rahman, son of Sadiq Hussain, Abid Khan, son of Sadiq Khan, Basit Cheema, Lala Zubair alias Jhara, Muhammad Javed, Fareed Gujjar, and Muhammad Ilyas son of Amin and Feroz Khan alias Paindo.

Also, the data shows that the police had registered at least 11 cases against Gogi Butt, 15 against Bagga Butt, 55 against Mansha Bomb, 23 against Muhammad Javed, 35 against Abid Khan, and 20 cases were registered against Shauki Changar.

Last month, the government had replaced hundreds of police officers after PM Imran Khan expressed his displeasure over the worsening law and order situation in Punjab. The administrative action was part of the government’s initiative to overhaul bureaucracy in order to improve governance in the country’s most populated province.

In September, PM Imran Khan, while chairing a meeting on ‘Police Reforms in Punjab’ at Punjab Chief Minister’s Secretariat, had ordered the then police chief to take stringent measures and control rising crimes in the shortest possible time.