The Anti-Corruption Establishment on Monday arrested a police department employee accused of issuing 27,000 bogus arms licences in collusion with a clerk in Nankana Sahib.
An FIR in the matter had been registered against Maulvi Jamal Din, then employed as a barber at Police Lines, and Aslam Gujjar, an arms licence clerk, at ACE Nankana Sahib Circle in 2009. The FIR was registered after a reference was sent to the ACE by the district government who had found the two officials’ involvement in the matter in an inquiry led by then Deputy District Officer (Coordination) Sikandar Zulqarnain Khithci.
Jamal Din was arrested on Monday and has been remanded in the ACE’s custody for two days. He would be presented in a court on Wednesday (today).
The case was re-opened some two months ago and Jamal Din arrested the matter was raised in the Punjab Assembly by Rai Shah Jahan Bhatti, Pakistan Peoples Party’s member of Punjab Assembly from Nankana Sahib. The MPA had pointed out that the case had been pending with the ACE since 2009.
Talking to The Express Tribune, ACE circle officer Arshad Gujjar attributed the delay to a stay order Jamal Din had obtained against his arrest following the inquiry in 2009.
“The stay has now been vacated,” he said. He said the other suspect had obtained an interim bail in the matter. The ACE would soon contact the court and request it to terminate the bail, he added.
The ACE official said Jamal Din would be presented in a court on Thursday after his two-day physical remand was over.
He said teams had been formed to arrest Gujjar who had gone into hiding.
He said a team including Nankana Sahib’s district coordination officer (DCO) Muhammad Hasan Iqbal, district police officer (DPO), ACE deputy director Investigation and circle officer were monitoring investigation of the matter.
Under the controlled licence issuance policy, only 20 to 100 arms licences can be issued in a month in districts with population of Nankana Sahib.
The ACE officials said while issuance of 27,000 bogus licences had been ascertained, they suspected the actual number was greater than that.
District police officer Haider Ashraf told The Tribune that patwaris had been directed to verify the particulars of people who were issued licenes by the two suspects. He said the matter had been assigned to revenue department instead of the police department or the Arms Branch office because of the former’s knowledge of the areas.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th, 2012.
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