It has been nine days since Muhammad Farooq alias Phalayi died in a road accident on the IJ Principal Road. The Sabzi Mandi police however, registered the first information report on Friday, that too only on the intervention of a lawyer and some journalists, it was learnt.
Even then, the suspect was not arrested; he was, instead, freed by the investigation officer earlier, and his vehicle was also released.
After losing all hope and exhausting all possible police officers concerned, Phalayi’s sons hired the services of a lawyer in district courts to get an FIR registered through the court. Advocate Faisal Iqbal said he would move the court for non-bailable warrants of the suspect and payment of compensation to the family of Phalayi on Saturday.
Despite his two sons’ repeated visits to the police station to get the report registered against the driver of the vehicle, the investigation officer was unmoved. “He had plainly refused to register the FIR and told us to go away and visit him after four to five days,” said Muhammad Waheed, the younger son of Phalayi. Farooq, 50, and resident of Shikarpur District, had come to see his sister in Islamabad earlier this month. He was standing by the roadside near the Kacha Stop when he was run over by a passenger van on August 3.
Rushed to the hospital, the wounded Phalayi could not survive. The driver of the passenger van did not stop to see what had happened to the old man. However, the witnesses had noted down the registration number of the Toyota Hiace (LHG 5258) and conveyed it to the police.
Phalayi’s sons, Muhammad Waheed and Muhammad Mithal, rushed to Islamabad after hearing the news of their father’s accident. “We found his body at the Holy Family Hospital where he had died of severe head injuries,” said Muhammad Mithal, his elder son.
The body was taken back to Shikarpur and after observing the final rituals of their father the two brothers once again returned to the capital with the hope of finding the people responsible for the incident.
Their high hopes met the first blow when they came to know that police had not registered a complaint.
“First the Rawalpindi police and the Sabzi Mandi police both tried to get rid of the case citing that the accident did not take place in their areas of jurisdiction. Then the Sabzi Mandi police refused to register the case when the jurisdiction was decided,” said Mithal.
On their own efforts, the two brothers managed to get hold of the driver and the vehicle that had hit their father and fled. “People of the area had noted the registration number and we found the same driver with same vehicle plying on IJP Road,” added Phalayi’s younger son.
The two brothers claimed the investigation officer was bribed so he let the driver go and did not put him behind the bars. Nor did he register a case against him.
“The investigation officer told us that there were half a dozen vehicles with this registration number in Islamabad and that he could not register a case against all of them,” said Waheed.
The driver of the vehicle insisted that he would talk to them at the police station of the area where he lived and not in Sabzi Mandi Police Station. “He was roaming free and the police had even let him take back his vehicle, after he submitted guarantees in a court,” added Waheed.
The two brothers then decided to lodge a complaint with the Senior Superintendent of the Police and the Inspector General of Police but to no avail.
The investigation officer told them that their case would eventually end up with him and there was no use going to IG and the SSP.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 13th, 2011.