Perveen Rehman murder: Apex court summons AGP, Advocate-General Sindh

HRCP, others seek new JIT to interrogate Sindh police officers involved in the case


Hasnaat Malik January 17, 2018
Social Activist Perveen Rehman. PHOTO: NPR

ISLAMABAD: Expressing dissatisfaction over the performance of Sindh Police, the Supreme Court has summoned the attorney general for Pakistan (AGP) and the advocate general (AG) of Sindh in connection with the murder case of Perveen Rehman, a social worker.

The top court was hearing a petition on Wednesday filed by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and others to have the delinquent officers of Sindh Police interrogated by a joint investigation team (JIT) headed by an officer of a federal agency.

The HRCP and others had requested the Supreme Court to constitute a new JIT, headed by an ‘honest official of any federal agency’ such as the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to interrogate the Sindh police officials who handled Perveen Rehman’s case.

‘Parveen Rehman was Karachi’s mother’

Rehman, a social worker who dedicated her life to the development of impoverished neighbourhoods across the country, was gunned down near her office in Karachi’s Orangi Town on March 13, 2013.

The petitioners, through their lawyer Raheel Kamran Sheikh, had also referred to a news report dated March 13, 2017, which said a senior police officer with a reputation for integrity and experience of investigating into extremely dangerous, high-profile cases, had distanced himself from Rehman’s murder probe soon after being appointed to lead it following the Supreme Court’s order to reopen the case.

According to the report, a highly reliable source revealed that superior officers in the force had told him not to pursue the land mafia, indicating that a significant and powerful portion of the Sindh police was under the control of criminal elements and actively collaborated with them to cover up, or at the very least, derail the Rehman’s murder investigation, said the petitioners.

While referring to several court orders, the counsel for petitioners told the court that the Sindh Police was not only involved in covering up crimes but were also reluctant to act upon the directions of the court.

Bail granted to suspect in Perween Rahman murder case

He said the accused in Perveen Rehman’s case were charged essentially on the basis of their confessions made before the investigating team, which would not help much when retracted by the accused persons in the court. “The investigation has been carried out manifestly inadequately,” he claimed.

The bench, headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmad, expressed anger over the Sindh Police, wondering where they should send the Sindh's police officers to make them learn how to conduct a proper investigation. The court also lamented that Rehman was murdered in 2013 but the killers were still not arrested.

“How could the police show negligence in such a high profile case? The officials who hushed up the case should be asked under whose direction they did that,” said Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh, a member of the bench.

A police representative told the bench that disciplinary proceedings were under way against those who badly affected the investigation of case. Later, the hearing was adjourned for two weeks.

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