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Police high-handedness: high-ups were in the know

By M. Zeeshan Azmat

Karachi

The act of police high-handedness, which involved the abduction of a couple and their adolescent daughter from Landhi on the grounds of their involvement in a “kidnapping” case in Punjab, had the blessings of the highest offices, including the Punjab Inspector General, the Punjab Home Department, the Sindh Home Department as well as the Capital City Police, Karachi.

Abdul Jalil, a resident of Landhi, his wife Mehmooda Begum and their daughter Shagufta were on Wednesday bundled up into a car and forced to leave for Punjab, where the case of kidnapping has been registered against them. The “kidnapping” case involves Jalil’s eldest son, 25-year-old Abdul Jamil marrying Sadia Miran, the daughter of a powerful family from Punjab without their blessings.

The couple completed all legal formalities and the area Naib Nazim and SHO were satisfied that there was nothing improper in the marriage that took place between the two.

The couple had wed on December 15 last year in a court in Karachi. Miran’s family, however, was not happy with this marriage and they had been pressuring Jalil’s family to hand over their daughter to them. Prior to police action, Sadia had clearly told her father that she would stay in Karachi with her in-laws. Her family had allegedly used the names of high-ups of law-enforcement agencies and Punjab-based politicians while threatening Jalil’s family.

Sadia’s uncle Hakim Ali lodged an FIR at PS Saddar, Kharian, alleging that Abdul Jalil, Shakeel, Mehmooda Begum, Abdul Jamil and one unknown person kidnapped Sadia and one Rehana Kausar.

The News has learnt from police officials that the Kharian police had approached the Punjab Inspector General on the matter and that he, in turn, had referred the case to the Punjab Home Department. The latter then wrote a letter to the Sindh Home Department for taking action. The letter was received on January 17 and forwarded to the CCPO Karachi. It was then referred to the DIG concerned to recover the missing people nominated in the FIR.

Quaidabad Police Station SHO Asif Rauf was asked why the couple’s daughter, Shagufta, was arrested by the Kharian (Punjab) police. He said that the complainant had nominated two unknown women in the FIR, which is why the raiding police party detained the young girl. The local police had earlier told The News that only Abdul Jalil, Abdul Jamil, Abdul Shakeel, Mehmooda Begum and an unknown person were nominated in the case. They later changed their statement and said that two unidentified women were also nominated.

Human rights activists have, however, bitterly criticized the Punjab police for the act, saying that they could not just barge into any house on a whim.

Commenting on the act, Amarnath Mutumal advocate said that the entire matter was riddled with illegality and inconsistency. “This is a sensitive matter and the affected family should immediately approach the court for justice,” he said.

Aurat Foundation Resident Director Anis Haroon also said that the police action was illegal. “The police are supposed to provide safety to citizens but unfortunately people are scared of them due to their track record. The influence of powerful people on police and their activities have destroyed the whole department. The police are not doing what they are supposed to do and there is no accountability to check their wrong deeds,” she said.

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) member Asad Iqbal Butt said that the police could keep a suspect in custody for 24 hours but normally women were exempted from this exercise.

The Kharian police has arrested the couple and their daughter after they failed to recover Sadia, daughter of Punjab influential Basharat Miran, during the raid. The rest of Jalil’s family members want to fight for justice but they fear threats from Miran’s family.
Source: The news
Date:1/23/2009

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