RAWALPINDI: A family appeared outside the City Police Officer Rao Muhammad Iftikhar’s office on Monday, threatening to burn themselves.
Iftikhar was attending to public complaints on Monday when Muhammad Saeed, his wife Shamim Saeed and their three children appeared, doused themselves with kerosene and threatened to set themselves on fire. Police say that as soon as they smelt kerosene they snatched the containers from Shamim. The family accused a Rawalpindi sub-inspector Muhammad Hanif of having forcefully occupied their property. Head of the family, Saeed, told The Express Tribune that he had tried to file a case at their local police station but had been told to “run along.”
“We went to every forum, including the Prime Minister’s Secretariat, searching for justice but to no avail,” he said. “This was our last act of desperation; we were left with no other option,” he added. The family said Hanif had occupied the house they had inherited. Shamim said the house was being used as a brothel and claimed that a woman named Abida was managing it. “When my younger son fell ill, I went to the house to get his clothes. The occupant women physically abused me and the neighbours had to come rescue me,” Shamim said.
She claims the neighbours can verify her story. Shamim said that as a preemptive measure, Abida had filed a case against her husband for theft. “How can we be stealing from our own house? And why did the police register this case? Why don’t they ask the neighbours?” Shamim demanded. On the CPO’s directives, Civil Lines police registered the couple’s case on Tuesday and appointed SP Sultan Chaddar as Inquiry Officer. SP Rana Shahid has already recorded their statements and suspended Hanif.
However, the accused subinspector refuted all allegations and said he had rented the house years ago and then simply returned it to the owners. He said this family’s claims were totally false.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 12th, 2010.