KARACHI: Police and paramilitary Rangers carried out widespread combing operations across the provincial metropolis on Tuesday in search of the son of Sindh’s top judge who went missing a day earlier.
Advocate Ovais Ali Shah, son of Sindh High Court Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, was abducted from outside a supermarket in the upscale Clifton neighbourhood Monday noon, according to police. Police believe the lawyer might have been kidnapped but they have failed to find any clue.
Police fear kidnapped SHC chief justice's son will be used as bargaining chip
A nine-member special police team, headed by Criminal Investigation Agency DIG Sultan Khawaja and comprising investigation and counter-terrorism experts, is investigating the case.
The Special Security Unit of the Sindh police conducted a surgical operation with the help of drone cameras in several neighbourhoods adjacent to Tipu Sultan Road and in parts of District West, including Pirabad and Manghopir localities. About six suspects were detained.
The paramilitary Rangers also started investigations in collaboration with the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) as well as the intelligence agencies and conducted operations in Orangi Town, Gadap, Liaquatabad, Keamari, Korangi, Clifton and Jamshed Town. At least 11 suspects were detained for questioning.
The Rangers have announced a reward of Rs2.5 million for information leading to the arrest of the alleged kidnappers of Advocate Ovais. People are requested to send information on Rangers Whatsapp number 0316-2369996; email address [email protected]; or Rangers helpline 1101.
Investigators said the kidnappers might have shifted the victim outside Karachi. The case was reported to police after more than seven hours that are enough to travel to rural Sindh and Balochistan.
SHC chief justice's son goes missing in Karachi
Eyewitness statements, CCTV footages from across the city and geo-fencing of mobile phone communications have proved inconclusive. The car used by the kidnappers with a fake police number plate (SP-0586) has yet to be traced.
Law enforcers have stepped up snap-checking at all entry and exit points of the city, especially on the Karachi-Hyderabad Superhighway and the National Highway.
A senior official, who is also a part of the police team, said there were signs the chief justice’s son was kidnapped. “Our main focus is on banned outfits as keeping in view the previous high-profile kidnappings, only highly trained and professional militants can carry out such abductions,” he reasoned.
The officer said it was premature to say anything about the group involved in the kidnapping and its motives.
Another police team member said Advocate Ovais was an easy target as he did not keep any security protocol. “But those who kidnapped him would be aware of the reaction of his kidnapping,” he said. “They could have kidnapped him as a bargaining chip or kidnapping for ransom or to teach a lesson to someone. But this is a major dent on the performance of the law enforcers in Karachi.”
Matter of concern
Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah presided over a high-level security review meeting at the CM House to evolve a strategy to recover Advocate Owais.
Minister’s young son kidnapped in Pishin
IGP AD Khawaja said the lawyer was kidnapped by four armed men at about 2.30pm. “We have recovered his car parked outside the superstore and have recorded statements of three eyewitnesses,” he told the participants.
CM Shah termed the incident ‘a serious lapse’ on part of the law enforcers, questioning how four armed men could kidnap a person outside a shopping centre in broad daylight. “Enough is enough. There should be zero tolerance for criminal activities,” he said while directing all agencies to intensify clean-up operations and purge the city of criminals.
The chief minister also ordered a drive against illegal weapons and fake number plates.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has also voiced concern over the kidnapping of Advocate Ovais and directed the civil and armed forces and intelligence agencies to leave no stone unturned to rescue him.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 22nd, 2016.
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