JACOBABAD: The naming of 13-year-old Ahmed Ali and 18-month-old Muhammad Ali in a police case, registered under the Anti-Terrorism Act at the Airport police station, has become a bone of contention between the family of the children and the police.
Members of the Umrani tribe protested against the registration of a case against the underage children, along with Pakistan Peoples Party -Shaheed Bhutto (PPP-SB) district president Nadeem Qureshi, at the press club on Thursday, demanding that the police take back the “unjust” case.
Kaley Dinno, the boys’ uncle, said that the police had taken an unfair stand against his tribesmen and had accused innocent people in the terrorism case that was filed at the Airport police station one-and-a-half months ago.
It all started on April 30 when a fight broke out between children from the Umrani and the Pathan tribes in the Family Lines area, after which the elders from the Umrani tribe allegedly scolded the children from both the tribes.
They then attacked the Pathan household, who reported the incident at the Civil Lines police station. SHO Naveer Ahmed Mugheri set a police team with the Pathans to visit the Umranis and investigate the matter.
When the police reached the Umrani household, the latter allegedly opened fire, injuring police officer Nooruddin Sanjrani.
While the feud between the two tribes ended that day, the police nominated 15 men from the Umrani tribe in a terrorism case.
A case was registered against 11 of the men under charges of terrorism at the Airport police station while Muhammad Yameen, Muhammad Yaseen and Barkat Umrani, the latter being a PPP-SB worker, were arrested.
Among the names of the men accused were also listed the names of 13-year-old Ahmed and 18-month-old Muhammad from the Umrani tribe.
Civil Lines SHO Naveer Ahmed Mugheri claimed, however, that Ahmed and Muhammad are the same person, adding that the boy was not 13 years old but instead was between 15 and 16 years of age and was involved in the firing.
“The people who shot the police official are asking him to change his statement in court. The boy was involved in an encounter against the police,” said Mugheri, who denied the registration of a case against an 18-month-old child.
While members of the Umrani tribe claimed that most of the people from their family had to migrate to Balochistan for fear of police persecution, Mugheri said that the police could only arrest three men as the rest of the accused had left the city.
However, after Barkat Umrani appealed to the PPP-SB to provide protection and support to his family, the accused men returned to Jacobabad and held a protest against the police outside the press club. They urged the chief justice of Supreme Court to take a suo moto notice of the situation.
Published in The Express Tribune, June, 25th, 2010.
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