Illegal custody: To save their skins, cops turn to blackmail

Published: March 12, 2012

The father of a boy illegally detained for five days claims he is being pressured to drop the charges. PHOTO: FILE

RAWALPINDI: The father of a boy recovered from the illegal custody of the New Town Police six days ago alleged on Sunday that he was being pressured to reach a compromise. 

“Officials from New Town Police Station have been harassing me and my family since the day the court bailiff recovered my boy,” said Muhammad Nawaz, whose son had been kept in illegal custody from March 1 to March 5.

Nawaz alleged that Sub Inspector (SI) Muhammad Iqbal and two constables had threatened to “implicate his sons in other criminal cases if he did not drop the case”.

Nawaz and his wife told The Express Tribune that they had not allowed their son to go to school since his return, fearing that he would be picked up by the police again.

At this rate, Shahbaz, in class 7 at a government high school, might not be able to appear in his annual exams, his parents feared.

According to documents shared by the parents, an additional sessions and district judge on March 6 directed the city police officer (CPO) to take action against SI Muhammad Iqbal “for his illegal act of detaining Malik Shahbaz without incorporating his arrest in the relevant record”.

The boy had been ‘arrested’ for allegedly stealing a car. After being located and recovered by a court bailiff, a magistrate discharged Shahbaz from the theft case the following day as it was clear from the bailiff’s statement that the boy was kept in custody illegally.

Nawaz added that following the threats, he complained to the CPO of the threats he had received, hoping the top cop would initiate action against the accused policemen.

He said the CPO had directed the operations senior superintendent of police (SSP) to conduct an inquiry into the criminal allegations against the accused sub inspector.

SI Iqbal could not be reached for comments despite repeated attempts.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 12th, 2012.

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