A police officer embraced martyrdom in an intense exchange of fire with kidnappers on Sunday morning to recover abductees in the precinct of the Khambhra police station in Ubauro town of Ghotki district. Reportedly, some unidentified armed persons kidnapped two labourers Asif Malik and Imran Malik from an irrigation tube well area near Chachar Bridge.Following information about the incident, police chased and encountered suspects. After a heavy gun battle, a police constable Mushtaq Ahmed Shar received severe bullet injuries and died on the spot.However, kidnappers managed to flee from the spot while police could not recover abductees. At the time, officers from the Ghotki police were deployed to reinforce the contingent of police officers on the ground at Katcha area of Kamon Shaheed area on the Sindh-Punjab border on the embankments of the Indus River.Police sources revealed that officers rescued Imran after engaging in a heavy gun battle with kidnappers, but could not recover Asif. The deceased officer’s body was shifted to the Taluka Hospital Ubauro for autopsy, and later was sent to his native village Shar.Villagers told the media that labourers were draining water to irrigation lands when they were kidnapped at gunpoint. Further investigation into the incident is underway.People irked by out-of-order ATMs in KhairpurAutomated teller machines (ATM) continue to be offline in Khairpur district, however, with no word from bank administrations on when services will be restored.Reportedly, account holders informed the media that an ATM machine of only one bank was working.They alleged that banks were ‘looting’ them by charging Rs 18 on each transaction and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has failed to monitor banks effectively.They appealed to the SBP and other concerned authorities to take a stern action against irregularities and malpractices in banks on the priority basis.Published in Daily Times, October 1, 2018.