Another missing person 'recovered' ahead of IHC hearing

IGP Islamabad ordered to present a report within 15 days, court summons DSP legal for next hearing


Our Correspondent October 03, 2022
Photo: File

ISLAMABAD:

Another missing person, Munib Akram, was presented by police in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday during a hearing of a case. 

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah presided over the hearing on a petition filed by Munib's father, Mohammad Akram. 

When asked by the chief justice regarding his whereabouts, Munib said that he was asleep at home on August 19, 2022, when he was forcefully called to the door by unknown individuals clad in shalwar kameez. 

He added the men then asked him for his laptop password and told him "never to use" social media platforms Twitter and Facebook.

The victim further stated that he was "scared" and was eventually dropped of in the Kallar Kahar area after being held captive for five or six hours. He then claimed that he stayed at a friend's village for around 40 days and did not inform his family of his situation out of "fear".

After hearing Munib's version of events, the court directed its query toward the area station house officer (SHO) and asked how were such individuals roaming within his jurisdiction. 

The IHC also summoned the deputy superintendent of police (legal) of the capital city police for the next hearing stating the court wanted to better understand the increase in the frequency of such incidents in Islamabad. 

The court stated the personnel of other counter-terrorism departments were entering Islamabad and questioned who should be held responsible for such a situation.

Reiterating its respect for the police and the uniform they wear, the IHC chief justice again said that incidents of citizens disappearing were "intolerable" and wondered who should be held accountable in order to ensure "no one dares to do this in the future". 

Read 'Missing' person produced before IHC

Turning its attention toward the representative of the Ministry of Defence, Justice Minallah asked if intelligence agencies had conducted an investigation. The representative informed the court that their investigation has concluded that the missing person was not held by any of the ministry's agencies.

The chief justice stated that the job of the agency was not only to report that the citizen was not held by them but also to investigate and report back on the matter. 

Chief Justice Minallah asked the defence ministry’s representative who he thought should be held responsible by the court. He further said that accountability becomes difficult if state institutions are involved and if the citizen had not been found, the court would have held the agencies responsible. 

Terming the occurrence of such incidents in the federal capital alarming, the IHC orded the capital's top cop to investigate the matter and submit a report to the court's Registrar within 15 days. The IHC CJ further said Munib should not be inconvenienced in any way. 

The court then disposed of the petition. Munib's recovery was ordered by the IHC during the hearing held on Sept 30. 

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