By: Akhtar Amin
PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Tuesday took suo motu notice of murder of the brother of a rape victim and protest by armed policemen against the judiciary and in favour of three cops accused in the rape case.
The court also directed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Inspector General of Police to immediately suspend the district police officer of Karak DPO and replace him with a Ã«competentÃ police officer.
On the direction of a division bench comprising Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth, both the IGP Akbar Khan Hoti and Home Secretary Azam Khan appeared in the court to explain the government action in the case of Uzma Ayub, the teenager who was allegedly raped by three police officers and some civilians. The court also wanted to know about the security provided by the police to the victimÃs family and the protest staged by the cops against the judiciary in Karak.
The District and Sessions Judge (DSJ) Karak on the directives of the PHC registrar had submitted an urgent report on December 13 after conducting preliminary inquiry and taking into consideration the report of the Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ), Takht-e-Nusrati and confirmed the view of the high court earlier recorded in different orders.
Ã¬Most unfortunate aspect of the matter is that for the first time the entire police of tehsil Takht-e-Nusrati brought a procession in official uniform carrying service rifles in support of the police officers under arrest in the rape case and chanted slogans against the judiciary. They displayed blatant force believing that they would be able to terrorise the court, but they wonÃt achieving their nefarious objective,Ã® the bench stated.
The bench also issued show-cause notice to the deputy inspector general of police Kohat to explain his conduct as to why he did not visit the Karak when the teenaged girl appeared on scene and accused police officers of raping her.
It said no option was left with the court but to direct the home secretary and the IGP to suspend forthwith the Karak DPO, who shall be replaced by a competent officer.
Ã¬Similarly, circle DSP of Karak and Takht-e-Nusrati shall remain suspended and shall be directed to report to Police Lines and shall stay there till further orders or till inquiry and investigation are completed,Ã® it added.
The bench directed that the SHO of Takht-e-Nusrati police station, ASIs of the said police station known as Yaqoob Shaheed police station and the additional SHO Walayat Khan along with Pir Mohsin Shah and Amir Khan be also kept under suspension till further court order. Ã¬They should be expelled from the district and directed to report to the Police Lines till investigation completed,Ã® it added.
Ã¬It is indeed an incident of serious indiscipline in such a force where discipline is the hallmark,Ã® it said adding that keeping in view previous history of case and the recent incident the local police could not be trusted to investigate the matter. Therefore, it directed the DSJ and ADSJ to personally inquire into the matter and arrest any police officer involved in the case.
Ã¬The entire case file be thoroughly perused, all concerned witnesses examined and comprehensive inquiry conducted within seven days,Ã® the court directed.
It also directed that DIG Investigation shall personally visit Karak within three days and investigate the act of police indiscipline. The bench directed the IGP to send considerable force from Kohat, Peshawar, Dera Ismail Khan or Bannu including elite force and special branch to arrest the absconding accused in three days and submit report to the court and the advocate general.
The court directed the IGP to arrange a special squad from Peshawar or Kohat to produce the girl and the complainant in the FIR of her brother, Alamzeb KhattakÃs murder on December 9 in the court. It ordered that policemen from any other district be deployed to provide security to the victim girl and her family and also ensure their security during transit from home to the court.
The bench noted that the case was initially entertained as human rights case. It said the various orders of court coming from Feb 15 to July 26, 2011 including statement of the abducted girlÃs mother led the court to the same conclusion and everything stated by the court in different orders proved true because police officers were implicated by Uzma Ayub when she secured freedom from her kidnappers.
The court recalled that instead of complying with various court directives the then provincial police officer (PPO) didnÃt take any positive step, otherwise the situation detestable in nature could have been thwarted. It said no effective action was taken against the accused cops even after the abducted teenager recorded her statement.
Home Secretary Azam Khan read out an inquiry report but the bench stated that it appeared inconclusive because the matter had not been taken to logical conclusion to punish the offenders in an effective manner. The IGP stated he may be given some time and he will show to the court the drastic action he had on his mind in the matter.
The bench directed the officers that departmental inquiry followed by strict disciplinary action must be concluded within 15 days. The case was adjourned till December 29.
Source: The News