they came under attack from the criminals.
Eighteen members of the notorious Chotu gang were sentenced to death on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, at an anti-terrorism court in Rajanpur, Punjab, Pakistan.
Two gang members were sentenced to life in prison. Among the 20 gangsters included the leader Ghulam Rasool, also known as Chotu.
There were presented before the court charged with 18 counts each.
The gang have been responsible for incidents involving kidnapping, murder and other crimes led by Rasool.
One charge includes an incident where six police officers were killed in the Rajanpur Kacha area in 2016 when an operation was conducted.
Officers had previously launched four operations against the gang and they were successful on a small scale.
The operation in 2016 was on a much bigger scale and officers enlisted the help of the Pakistan army and rangers to combat the Chotu gang.
Police went to a forest area where the gang was said to be based and a shootout occurred after they came under attack from the criminals.
The army was able to make the gang surrender and all surviving members were arrested including Rasool.
But six officers were killed and eight were injured. The Chotu gang took 24 other policemen hostage, however, they were released nine days later.
Officers recovered hand grenades, rocket launchers, automatic weapons and a huge quantity of ammunition.
The forest areas in Sindh and the southern part of Punjab have remained a nest for bandits involved in serious crimes.
It is an ideal place for gangs in the region as the areas have remained a no-go area for police and other law enforcement agencies.
The 20 members of the Chotu gang were brought before the court on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, and convicted.
Eighteen members were given the death penalty on six counts under Section 302 of the PPC, six counts under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act and six counts under Section 3 of the Explosive Substance Act 1908.
They were identified as Ghulam Rasool (Chotu), his brother Pyara, Nadir, Deen Muhammad, Khalid (Khaldi), Ishaq (Bilal), Akram (Akri), Ghulam Haider, Hakim, Razzaq, Majid, Nasir, Sher Khan, Jumma (Bhutta), Rasheed, Behram, Bashir, Abdul Wahid, Mujeeb-ur Rahman and Hussain Bakhsh.
Two other convicts, identified as Qasim and Abdul Samad were sentenced to life in prison as they were under the age of 18.
Each convict was also handed an Rs. 6.2 million fine or undergo additional imprisonment if they fail to pay the fine.
In the past, other bandit groups like the Sikhani gang, Inder gang and Changwani gang has seen its members sentenced to death.
Prior to the Chotu gang’s capture, former chief minister of Punjab, Dost Muhammed Khosa said it was not possible that gangs lived in forest areas.
He also alleged that the gang had received the backing of some political party members.