The Sindh High Court on Monday directed DIG West to conduct an inquiry into the allegation of immoral behaviour by police officials with a woman they had illegally confined in her house in Orangi Town last week.
The directives came on the petition of Shah Izat Bibi who had moved the court last week against the illegal confinement of her daughter-in-law by the Orangi Town police in her house. Shah Bibi submitted that officials of the Orangi Town police kept her daughter-in-law Shaheen and one-and-a-half-year-old grandchild illegally detained in her own home for two days when they came to the house searching for Shah Bibi’s son and Shaheen’s husband, Farman, in a murder case.
According to the petitioner, when the policemen did not find Farman at home, they placed his wife in confinement and demanded illegal gratification to set them free. The court had appointed its Nazir as commissioner to visit the house of the petitioner’s daughter-in-law and recover the detainees.
In his report submitted to the SHC in an earlier hearing, the Nazir stated that he along with Iqbal Market police and the petitioner visited the house situated in Siddique Akbar Colony of Orangi Town.
He said that the door was opened by one policeman, while three other cops were also inside along with three detained people, including Shaheen, her toddler and another woman named Jameela.
The Nazim further stated that the Shaheen and her child were handed over to the petitioner after obtaining surety from the Iqbal Market police SHO who submitted that both women [Shaheen and Jameela] were not involved in any case, and it was instead the petitioner’s son against whom the murder case had been registered.
The SHO stated that Farman was suspected to be involved in the murder of Anees Siddiqui, a local union councillor. He added that police had raided his house based on information that he was present there and denied that officials had indulged in immoral behaviour with the suspect’s wife.
However, the petitioner’s counsel alleged that some of the cops who raided the house forcibly stripped off Shaheen’s clothes while keeping her confined and recorded a video of her. He added that three of those cops who had appeared in court on Monday were among the policemen who had committed the immoral behaviour.
The SHC division bench headed by Justice Aftab Ahmed Gorar directed the DIG West to conduct an inquiry into these allegations and register an FIR against the responsible officers if it is found that they committed a cognisable offence.
The court also directed the DIG West to not assign field posting to the accused, the Iqbal Market SHO Abdul Waheed and three police personnel Mohammad Bilal, Bilal Ahmed and Sardar Ali till further orders. The DIG was directed to submit the report by April 16.
Moreover, the court also took exception to the non-appearance of the SSP West in the hearing, despite court orders. The bench was informed that the SSP had gone to Surjani Town to investigate another murder case. The court then observed that it appears that the SSP has no regard for court orders and went to investigate a case even though he had been directed to appear at the hearing. The SHC bench then issued a show-cause notice to the officer for defying court orders.
The case history
Anees Siddiqui, the deceased councillor in whose murder case Farman is wanted, was shot dead on March 23 in his office near Toori Bangash Chowk in the Iqbal Market police limits. He was meeting members of the public in the office, which is situated next to his residence, when two men wearing masks arrived, opened fire on him and fled.
SSP Omer Shahid Hamid of District West said police arrived at the crime scene and took the man to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The victim suffered a single bullet wound to his chest. The police found spent bullet shells of a 30- bore pistol from the spot and sent them to the forensic division of the Sindh Police for examination. Preliminary investigations showed Anees was a resident of the same area and the union councillor of UC-26, Iqbal Market. He was also a former unit incharge of the MQM-P.