Family disputes police version of lecturer’s arrest

Published: June 19, 2017
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Says FIR was registered over 15 hours after lecturer was picked up. PHOTO: REUTERS

Says FIR was registered over 15 hours after lecturer was picked up. PHOTO: REUTERS

PESHAWAR: Days after a lecturer of the Islamia College University was arrested for allegedly possessing and transporting drugs, his family has disputed the police claims, stating that he had allegedly been picked up by police and falsely charged with narcotics possession.

Police on June 12 had filed an FIR against English lecturer Bashir Ahmed who had been arrested at a checkpoint in Regi Model Town with two pistols, 30 cartridges, 20 grammes of ice (crystal methamphetamines) and 150 grammes of hashish. The lecturer was subsequently charged under Section 9-C of Control of Narcotic Substances Act. However, when he appeared before the court, his bail application was granted.

However, Bashir’s brother Riaz Ahmad in his application, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune and which was submitted to the Town Police Station at around 3am on June 12, states that Ahmad had gone out to buy some juice at the Hamza Juice Point in Hayatabad, as per his routine, at 8pm on June 11.

However, when Ahmad did not return home, located inside the Islamia University, till midnight, his family became worried. Riaz told The Express Tribune that he checked all the local police stations including the Regi Model Town police station, but all in vain.

“The Regi Model Town police station did not tell me if my brother was in their custody,” he said.

Unable to locate Ahmad, his brother submitted an application for a missing person in the Town police station.  “Footage from closed circuit cameras or other relevant evidence of me filing an application of my missing brother can be checked for confirmation,” Riaz said.

Arrested for clash with SHO?

Soon after news emerged that Ahmad had been arrested for allegedly peddling drugs, some reports surfaced that the arrest was probably the result of a month-old clash between the lecturer and Regi Model Town police station SHO Shaheen Shah.

Coincidentally, the clash took place over a parking issue near Hamza Juice Point, which Bashir frequented, including on the night he was picked up.

“The SHO, which initially I was not aware was a police officer because he was in plain clothes, had struck my car from behind,” Bashir told The Express Tribune, adding that it resulted in a clash and required intervention from others around the juice store to resolve it. On the day Bashir was picked up by the police, the lecturer said that Shah had followed and intercepted him on University Road.

“After I stopped and the SHO walked over, he accused me of insulting him around a month ago,” Bashir said.

“I will teach a lesson [for the insult],” Bashir quoted the SHO as allegedly threatening him. Later that night, Bashir said that when he was heading to the juice point, two private cars with police personnel pulled up next to him.

“I was abused, tortured and dragged to the car,” Bashir claimed, adding that the officials also tore his clothes.

“I begged them [the police] to tell me why I was being arrested but they kept abusing me and my family while refusing to tell me why I was being kept in custody,” alleged Bashir, noting that he was kept in the police lock-up for the entire night with officials not even offering him any sehri. After over 15 hours, Bashir alleged, police registered a ‘false’ FIR of drug possession all the while he was unaware that he had been booked for such ‘baseless’ accusations by the police.

Police version

Meanwhile, Town police station denied receiving any application from the lecturer’s family. SP Rural Mohammad Furqan also rubbished claims made by the English language lecturer.

SSP Operations Sajjad Khan was unavailable for comments despite repeated attempts.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2017.

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