LAHORE: Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Muhammad Aslam Tareen was left red-faced before the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday when he was forced to admit that his written statement regarding the search for Canadian Sikh Rajvindar Kaur Gill, now believed to be dead, was almost entirely incorrect.
The court had directed the CCPO to appear in person and submit a detailed report in response to a petition filed by Sikandar Singh Gill, the father of the missing businesswoman, regarding her recovery.
Instead, SP (Legal) Ijaz Gilani turned up at the start of the hearing on Wednesday morning and submitted a two-page statement on Tareen’s behalf. In it, the CCPO stated that she was likely in Sargodha or Karachi and the police needed more time to locate her.
The counsel for the petitioner drew Justice Sardar Tariq Masood’s attention to a story in The Express Tribune which, citing investigators, reported that a man had been arrested and confessed to involvement in killing Gill back in August.
Appearing before the judge later in the day, Tareen said that he had been informed late on Tuesday night about the arrest and confession of the suspect named Shehzad Hussain. He had told investigators that he and a relative named Shahid Ghazanfar, who owed Gill money, had strangled her and dumped her body in Khanpur Canal off Sheikhupura Road back in August.
The CCPO said that Ghazanfar, a German national of Pakistani origin, had fled to Germany and the police had contacted Interpol for his arrest. He also stated that she had apparently come to Pakistan to “learn some black magic”.
Justice Masood told him off for his earlier reply and directed him to appear again on January 7 with updates on the investigation. He also instructed him not to rely solely on Hussain’s confessional statement, but to widen the investigation and find more evidence.
The judge asked the CCPO about the FIR, to which the police officer responded that the case would be registered once an application was received. The judge asked Gill to file an application.
An official from the Canadian High Commission also attended the proceedings.
In his earlier reply, which relied on a letter sent to the police by the Canadian High Commission in Islamabad, the CCPO said that Kaur had apparently gone to Karachi or Sargodha to meet Iqbal Hussain, the host of Such ka Safar on TV One. According to Gill’s sister, they had gotten to know each other via the matchmaking website shadi.com
The CCPO said that the Lahore investigation and operation DIGs had written to the Intelligence Bureau asking them to locate her mobile phone, and to provide details of calls she made during the period she was in Lahore. They had also asked the Federal Investigation Agency to supply details on her travels inside and outside Pakistan. The CCPO said in the letter that the police were trying their best to find her and asked for more time. Two letters written by the CCPO to the IG and the FIA were also attached. In them, he stated that she had come to Pakistan on August 23 for a gem exhibition and sightseeing.
Sarwar road police: Kidnapping case registered
Sarwar Road police registered a kidnapping case on Wednesday on the complaint of the father of the missing Canadian Sikh Rajvindar Kaur Gill.
The Lahore High Court had directed the police to register an FIR after the CCPO told the court that a man had been arrested and had confessed to killing her and dumping her body in a canal. Complainant Sikandar Singh Gill said in his application that he suspected that she had been kidnapped by Shahid Ghazanfar alias Krishna Roy and Shehzad Hussain for money. He requested the police to recover his daughter.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 3rd, 2013.