KARACHI: The Sindh High Court directed the Sessions Judge, Malir, Karachi, Monday to investigate a case pertaining to the illegal detention of peasants, the looting of their property by police officials in district Thatta.
A division bench, comprising Justice Amir Hani Muslim and Justice Syed Zakir Hussain, also ordered the registration of a case and the payment of compensation to the detainees, if the accused police officials were found guilty. Petitioner Muhammad Urs, a resident village Ghulam Muhammad Soorjo, Thatta, approached the SHC and named Sindh home secretary, the IG of Police, TPO Sajawal Iqbal Qureshi, TPO Mirpur Bathoro Liaquat Dars, the person in charge of the CIA Centre in Thatta, Mukhtiar Solangi, SHO PS Sajjawal and SHO PS Mirpur Bathoro as respondents.
His lawyer Shaukat Hayat submitted that the police raided the petitioner’s village two months ago and took away 20 peasants, including women and children on the pretext that they were ‘patharedars’. After one month, the police lodged a fake FIR, declaring four of the detainees as patharedars, but then released them all. The police then raided the village again on April 13 and took away 13 peasants, including the petitioner’s brother Allah Warrayo and other relatives. A Suzuki (with the number-plate KPK-2015) was also seized.
He submitted that the petitioner went to senior police officers for help but no action was taken. He said that they fear that the detainees may be killed or beaten by the police during detention. The counsel stated that the police were public servants under Section 21 of the CrPC and were required to perform their duties according to the law as specified in Police Order 2002. He prayed the court to order the police to produce the detainees, the looted valuables and order the respondents to compensate them and take action against the accused officials.
On Monday, AAG Shafi Muhammad Memon appeared along with Al-Haaj Makhdoom Mukhtiar Ali, who was in charge of the CIA and is now posted as SPO Makli, Inspector Muhammad Iqbal Qureshi, Inspector Liaquat Ali Dars, SHO Bathoro (now posted as SPO Bathoro), SIP Notak Khan Mallah, DPO Bhathoro, SIP Din Khaskheli, SHO Daro. They submitted that the detainees had been released and they prayed the court to dismiss the petition. The SHC division bench observed:
“There are serious allegations against police officers, which include looting of property and illegally confining the relatives of the petitioner. Now, all detainees have been released, some of their belongings have been returned to them. “We, in the given circumstances, direct the Sessions Judge, Malir, Karachi, to hold an inquiry into the allegations leveled by the petitioners. The police officials shall appear before the Sessions Judge, Malir, Karachi, at each and every date of hearing and the Sessions Judge shall examine the petitioners, their witnesses, police officers and will pass appropriate orders.
If the police officers are found guilty, he will order the registration of a case and/ or proceedings under Police Order 2002 against them and will also order compensation for the detainees if they were in illegal confinement of the police officers. This exercise shall be completed by the Sessions Judge, Malir, Karachi, within four weeks.” The hearing was adjourned till May 25.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 11th, 2010.
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