KARACHI: The anti-terrorism courts’ (ATC) administrative judge allowed on Saturday the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) to interrogate 12 incarcerated prison officials in jail premises for their alleged involvement or negligence in the escape of two under trial prisoners.
Two members of militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Shaikh Muhammad Imtiaz alias Firoun and Muhammad Ahmed Khan alias Munna, escaped from the ATCs’ complex located inside the Central Jail, Karachi premises on June 13.
Following the report of the incident, Prisons IG Nusrat Mangan suspended Central Jail Karachi Superintendent Ghulam Murtaza Shaikh, deputy superintendent Faheem Memon, assistant superintendent Abdul Rehman Shaikh, ASI Faroosh Muhammad, police commando Nawab Ali and constables Atta Muhammad, Muhammad Amir, Abdul Ghafoor, Saeed Ahmed, Muhammad Sajjad, Taigal Naseer and Nadir Ali.
The suspended officials were subsequently booked under sections 223 (escape from confinement or custody negligently suffered by public servant), 224 (resistance or obstruction by a person to his lawful apprehension), 225 (resistance or obstruction to lawful apprehension of another person), 225-A (omission to apprehend or sufferance of escape on part of public servant) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 at the New Town police station on the directives of the prison authorities.
These officials were arrested by the police and sent to jail on judicial remand by a District East judicial magistrate. Later the investigation of the case was handed over to the CTD.
The investigation officer, DSP Zahid Hussain of the CTD, moved an application before Karachi’s ATCs administrative judge and sought custody of the suspended prison officials who have been detained at the Malir prison.
DSP Hussain submitted that the investigators had not gotten a chance to question the suspended officials, as they were remanded to prison the day after their arrest. He contended that Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 was later incorporated in the case after the investigation was handed over to the CTD.
He asked the judge to allow the investigators to question the incarcerated suspended officials to ascertain the facts about the prisoners’ escape.
The judge, after expressing displeasure over the investigators approaching the court two weeks after the case was registered, directed the Malir jail superintendent to provide access to the CTD to interrogate the suspects under his watch. The investigators can only interrogate the suspended officials between sunrise and sunset.
Meanwhile, the judge tasked the ATC-VIII with the disposal of the bail application moved by three of the suspended officials.