Pakistan lawmaker arrested for private dungeon, attack on police

QUETTA, Pakistan Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:46am EST

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QUETTA, Pakistan (Reuters) - A Pakistani legislator has been arrested for running a private dungeon at his home in which five people were found chained up, two of them for several years, police said on Monday.

The dungeon only came to light after private guards working for the lawmaker, Abdul Rehman Khetran, attacked police at a checkpoint on Sunday, beat them up and stole their weapons.

The police then raided the lawmaker's fortified home in lawless Baluchistan province, freed the prisoners, including one woman, and arrested Khetran, his son and six private guards, said Barkhan district police chief Abdul Ghafoor Marri.

The prisoners had been mistreated, Marri said, adding that police had also seized a truck filled with ammunition and weapons at the premises.

Khetran told local reporters the arrests were politically motivated and that it was illegal for police to enter his house.

Khetran is a legislator for Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, a conservative, religious party, and a former provincial minister for special education. His wife is also a lawmaker.

The mineral-rich western region of Baluchistan is deeply impoverished and a haven for smugglers, drug lords, Taliban insurgents and separatist rebels.

(Writing by Katharine Houreld; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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