HYDERABAD: As medical student Noureen Jabbar remains missing despite a lapse of six weeks, nationalist leader Ayaz Palijo has accused the police of misleading the inquiry.
"Intentionally or unintentionally, the local police have played into the hands of the abductors," asserted the Qaumi Awami Tehreek (QAT) president at a press conference at Noureen's residence in Hyderabad on Wednesday.
Noureen, a second year student of Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS), went missing on February 10. The initial report of her disappearance was lodged the same day after she did not return in the evening from LUMHS. However, the FIR was registered two weeks later on February 25 on the complaint of her father, Prof Abdul Jabbar Laghari, who is a faculty member at the Sindh University.
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Hyderabad SSP Irfan Baloch claimed that based on initial investigations, the police were certain that Noureen has joined a terrorist outfit. "We have investigated … talked to her friends and teachers. She came in contact with a terrorist organisation on Facebook," Baloch said, adding that Noureen's accounts had also been blocked by Facebook because of extremist content.
But Palijo, as well as Noureen's family, are convinced that the police have treated the case with their traditional lethargy so far by finding easy excuses to justify her disappearance.
"Why are the police not considering that children of some influential person like a wadera [feudal lord], politician or bureaucrat may be involved in her kidnapping?" questioned Palijo, adding that fake trails may have been left behind by the abductors to spread confusion in the case.
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He also pointed out that the police claim Noureen left Hyderabad in a Daewoo bus at 1:45pm on February 10. However, her mobile phone's signals were traced near Agriculture Complex on Thandi Sarak Road in Hyderabad at 5:07pm the same day.
The Daewoo's closed-circuit television camera footage showed a burqa-clad woman, around five-and-a-half feet tall, sitting in the bus. But the family said that Noureen was only around five feet tall.
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The QAT leader said he spoke to Sindh IG Allah Dino Khawaja earlier and requested the IG to hand over the case's investigation to a competent police officer. "The chief minister should spare just 10% of the restlessness, which he showed in the cases of Sharjeel Memon and Dr Asim Hussain, for Noureen and Ayaz Jamali [a Pakistani engineer kidnapped by rebels in Sudan]," said Palijo.
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