By: ABUBAKER KIRUNDA
Jinja: One suspected thug was shot dead and six others arrested on Friday night when police in Njeru Town Council, working on a tip off from residents, caught them allegedly stealing electric cables.
The deceased, whom police declined to name for fear of jeopardising investigations, died in Bukabala Zone in Njeru Town Council where the group was allegedly cutting cables from electric poles.
The Njeru Division Police Commander, Mr Christopher Katumba, told this newspaper at the weekend that the suspect was shot dead as he tried to disarm one of the police officers. “We had no option, but to shoot him in defence of our lives and since it was dark, we could not target the legs as he moved to get the gun from us,” Mr Wamala said.
Mr Wamala said by the time his men arrived at the scene, the thugs had vandalised about 1.8 kilometers off the power poles in the area. Cables estimated to be worth Shs30 million which were in sacks were recovered along with saws, pliers and hammers.
Mr Wamala declined to name the suspected thugs who are being held in Njeru, saying police is still searching for their accomplices.
In September last year, police reintroduced the 2002 ‘Operation Wembley’ method in which security personnel will shoot-to-kill suspected robbers on sight. The method once condemned by human rights activists, is supposed to counter armed robberies that are on the rise.
However, the move raised concern from human rights activitists who said it is against the constitution and is being used without considering the repercussions.