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Police officials suspended for illegally detaining girl

HYDERABAD, Feb 6: Regional Police Officer (RPO) Sultan Salahuddin Babar Khattak on the orders of the Hyderabad circuit bench of the Sindh High Court suspended on Tuesday taluka police officer (TPO) of Tando Bago Inspector Bashir Ahmed Mangi and senior investigating officer Sub-Inspector Abdul Ghafoor Khaskheli for illegally detaining a 19-year-old girl Ms. Naseeban in a private quarter.

The court had directed the investigating officer to record Ms Naseeban’s statement after she stated in court on January 16 that she was of full age and had married Nazar Ali of her own free will. The court directed police to produce her in court on February 6 with orders not to arrest or harass the petitioners.

The petitioners’ counsel Ishrat Ali Lohar Advocate said that when the couple along with Nazar Ali’s brother approached police on January 24 and handed courts order to the investigating officer he became annoyed and detained the girl and her husband in separate cells despite the orders not to arrest the couple.

The couple’s counsel filed a contempt of court application seeking action against the investigating officer and Tando Bago TPO Bashir Ahmed Mangi for violating the high court’s order dated January 16.

Ms Naseeban was found detained in a residential quarter of Abdul Ghafoor Khaskheli while Nazar Ali was not found when judicial magistrate-I paid surprise visit to the police station on the orders of second additional sessions judge of Badin on January 27 whom Nazar Ali’s brother, Fateh Ali, had approached for his brother’s recovery, he said.

Mr Lohar said that the SIO then produced the girl before the same magistrate to record her statement under section 164 Cr.PC. The girl recorded her statement before the magistrate and she was released with threats not to approach the high court and retract her earlier statement.

DIG police (operations) Hyderabad submitted in the court that action would be taken against delinquent officials. Later, Prosecution DSP Shakil Shaikh along with Additional AG Sindh Masood A. Noorani produced suspension orders of two policemen with the DIG seeking time to complete inquiry and submit a report.

Police also produced Ms. Naseeban before Justice Sajjad Ali Shah who heard the girl and his husband in his chamber. She told the judge that she had given the statement before the magistrate under duress because she was told that her father and brother had been arrested. She said that she would go with her husband if she was provided protection.

The PDSP undertook before the court to provide protection to the couple and produce them on Wednesday when her brother and father would also be brought in the court.

The court warned that if any harm came to the couple the DIG of police would be personally responsible.

Later, the girl told journalists that she and her husband were put in separate places at the Shaheed Fazil Rahu police station in Tando Bago when they approached police to record their statement. “I have seen my husband today. He had been tortured by police when I was detained in a quarter of a policeman,” she said.

The couple had filed a joint petition against the SHO of Shaheed Fazil Rahu police station and Khamiso Khor, the girl’s father. The petition said that they had married on November 6, 2006. She said that her parents had engaged her to Nazar Ali, her cousin, three years ago. But when they decided to marry her to an old man of questionable character she left her house, she said.

Her father lodged a case under section 11/16 of Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance 1979 at the Shaheed Fazil Rahu police station against his daughter and her husband and police arrested Umer, Saleh Mohammad and Habibullah, nephew, brother and brother-in-law of Nazar Ali, respectively and took away their cows and buffaloes. They were still behind bars.

The petitioners’ counsel sought for quashing FIR 90/06 and interim bail for Nazar Ali. He said that the SHO should be directed not to detain Nazar Ali’s relatives.

Source: Dawn