PESHAWAR: With the main accused —who had allegedly forcibly stripped a teenaged girl in a Dera Ismail Khan village four months ago — still, at large, a high court has directed the police to arrest the suspect within three weeks.
The orders were passed by a two-judge bench of the Peshawar High Court comprising Chief Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Ayub Khan while hearing a case filed by the mother of the victim, demanding justice.
On Thursday, the court asked police officers if they have arrested the prime suspect.
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AIG-Legal Falak Nawaz by and large repeated what has become the police’s standard answer in the case: that they have so far arrested eight people and have conducted several raids for other suspects. Despite that, they have yet to arrest the prime accused.
However, they have gotten their hands on some key clues and are expected to arrest him soon.
Additional Advocate General (AAG) Qaisar Ali Shah told the court that police constituted three different teams to arrest the prime suspect. These teams are headed by DI Khan Sadr Division SP Ashfaq Khan, DI Khan Investigation SP Sanaullah Khan, and Kulachi Circle SDPO Khalid Usman respectively.
The court was further told that the team headed by SP Sanaullah was responsible for conducting a fair and transparent investigation into the case and to submission investigation report to high court every fortnight.
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The police official added that the district police officer of DI Khan was personally supervising the entire process.
Finding the reply to be unsatisfactory without offering any solid reasons, the PHC gave the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) police another three weeks to find and arrest the key suspect.
The court further directed that if the suspect was not arrested this time, the DI Khan deputy inspector general of police will have to appear in person before the court to explain the failure.
The court then adjourned the hearing until March 20.
Even though the court had disposed of the case with directives that police submit fortnightly reports into the investigation in the case to the human rights directorate of PHC, officials have so far only submitted a solitary report, stating that eight suspects have been arrested and that complete security has been provided to the victim’s family while efforts were underway to arrest the main suspect.
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