SUKKUR: Two police officers were suspended on Saturday by the Sindh IG and Sukkur DIG for allegedly mishandling the case of Rinkle/Faryal.
Mirpur Mathelo DSP Syed Abbas Shah was suspended while SHO Zulfiqar Mahar was not only suspended but also demoted to an assistant sub-inspector.
A three member inquiry committee was also formed by Sukkur DIG and recorded the statements of the president of Mirpur Mathelo’s Hindu Panchayat, Nand Lal and other police officers. It is led by Sukkur SSP Saqib Ismail Memon and its members include AIG Shoukat Abbasi and Khairpur SSP Irfan Baloch. The committee is expected to submit its report in two days after getting statements of Pirs of Bharchoondi Sharif.
Meanwhile, it also emerged that Rinkle and Naveed Shah used to live in Sufi Muhalla and often visited each other’s houses. Rinkle/Faryal had finished college and used to work as a teacher in a private school.
According to the claims of Rinkle’s parents, she was kidnapped between the night of February 23 and 24, but neither the nieghbours nor anyone else in the area saw anything suspicious. Sources were sceptical of this version because the neighbours had said that they didn’t hear any sounds from the house when she was being kidnapped. Her parents had claimed that Rinkle was kidnapped near midnight but the FIR was not registered till the next morning.
The president of Hindu Panchayat, Mukhi Nand Lal, said that the police blatantly sided with the kidnappers. When Rinkle recorded her statement in front of the civil judge in Ghotki a large number of armed men from Bharchoondi Sharif were present on the court premises. But instead of taking any action against them the police stopped Hindus from entering the court premises.
Nand Lal said that he had talked to MNA Haq and requested him to let the couple appear in court under police protection, but he had refused. Haq had reiterated that Rinkle’s parents had refused to see her when they were called to Bharchoondi Sharif.
Nand Lal said that even though many girls from his community had eloped with Muslim boys before, they had never pursued them as in Rinkle’s case, because she was kidnapped.
When he was asked if Naveed and Rinkle/Faryal were neighbours Lal said that he had heard about it but Rinkle’s parents denied this.
The president said that so far Rinkle has been presented in court in the presence of armed men from Bharchoondi Sharif and was under tremendous pressure. But he said that the community will accept whatever decision is taken after she records her statement with the Supreme Court.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 19th, 2012.