Escaped murder accused: Investigation opens new can of worms

Eviden­ce shows a worryi­ng lack of police coordi­nation and adhere­nce of proced­ural codes.


Saleh Mughal July 31, 2012

RAWALPINDI:


The Rawalpindi police have collected call data for the escaped murder-accused Ruhullah and the policemen who were guarding him at District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital.


The police have also recorded statements from the three Islamabad police officials on guard duty and all hospital staff on duty. The evidence shows a worrying lack of police coordination and adherence of procedural codes.

The under-trial suspect made a cinematic escape from DHQ Hospital in Rawalpindi on Sunday while leaving his cell phone in the hospital after removing its battery. Sources later said that the assistant sub-inspector in charge of the team on duty was sitting at home when he should have been at the hospital.

Due to the sensitivity of the issue, Adiala Jail Superintendent Malik Mushtaq had dispatched a letter to the Islamabad IGP and DHQ medical superintendent on July 18 in which he suggested that foolproof security measures should be made to secure the suspect and that he should be sent back to jail as soon as possible.

Apparently, his suggestions were ignored by the Islamabad police and the Islamabad Headquarters DSP, who was supposed to regularly check on the prisoner, only stopped by once. However, the Shalimar police SHO was making regular visits.

Referring to preliminary investigations conducted by the Gunjmandi police, sources  said that Ruhullah was a wealthy man and spent 13 days in the hospital like a king. He was rumoured to be offering Rs500 to hospital employees for fetching him a bottle of water. His escape was thoroughly planned and being moved from the shifting from the jail to the hospital was apparently part of his plan.

Hospital staff alleged that the suspect was having food brought in from “good restaurants” for him and other patients, and also for the guards on duty.

The Sehri that the police guards were eating at the time of the escape had also been paid for by the escapee. Hospital sources added that the suspect was handcuffed when he was brought to the hospital, but had no cuffs on during his stay.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2012.

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