The police are convinced that the person arrested in Dubai is actually look-alike and namesake of the real suspect in a former provincial attorney’s murder case. The investigators say the wanted person has been traced to Peshawar.
The police are looking at the possibility of collusion where an imposter was used to distract the authorities to allow Ruhullah, wanted in the killing of the former attorney general of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Muhammad Sardar Khan, to flee from Islamabad to Peshawar.
Police officials are probing the possibility of the doctors’ role in Ruhullah’s escape from Rawalpindi District Headquarters (DHQ) hospital. The prisoner escaped through a window of his ward. The doctors did not discharge him despite repeated reminders by the Adiala jail authorities,” said a police official privy to the investigations, adding that the suspect was taken to the hospital for tests and not treatment.
The jail authorities wrote at least two letters to the hospital asking them to release the prisoner after the tests. He could have been treated in the jail, added the police official.
In a case registered with the Gunjmandi Police, three officials of the Islamabad police, the hospital staff and jail authorities were booked but nobody was nominated. The investigators are following up various leads to identify people who would have colluded in helping the prisoner escape.
“The police suspect both jail and hospital officials were involved in assisting the Ruhullah’s escape as it was very well-planned,” said a Rawalpindi police official. The investigators also found six cheques from Ruhullah’s ward. Two cheques were filled out for Rs500,000 and Rs25,000 respectively and were signed by Ruhullah, but the payees’ names were not mentioned. The other four were signed blank cheques. Police are investigating who the intended beneficiaries were.
Sources in the Rawalpindi Police told The Express Tribune that efforts were underway to re-arrest him. Reports of his flight to Dubai and subsequent arrest through Interpol emerged after the escape. However, the Islamabad Police found out that the person arrested in Dubai shared his name, but not his parentage.
“Although there was close resemblance between the two, the one arrested in Dubai was not the prisoner who escaped from police custody,” said an official of Rawalpindi Police familiar with the investigations. He arrived in Islamabad a day earlier and was also suspected of forging travel documents.
The investigation teams were also trying to ascertain why the jail administration shifted the prisoner to DHQ instead of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in violation of rules. They were required to inform the home department in Islamabad before making the move.
A police official added that Ruhullah was given VVIP protocol in jail. Everything from cell phones to burgers were made available to him. “Efforts are underway to pin responsibility on officials for the prisoner’s escape.”
Meanwhile, a three-member committee set up to inquire into Ruhullah’s escape has absolved doctors and blamed the Islamabad Police for inadequate security arrangements.
The committee recommended the construction of a new high-security ward in the hospital for prisoners, according to the report. It also urged the Punjab government and jail administration to upgrade its hospital so that prisoners may be treated within the jail premises.
Reacting strongly to the poor communication between Rawalpindi and Islamabad police after the escape of the high-profile criminal, members suggested that law enforcement agencies should bridge the gap and be more vigilant. The committee submitted its findings to Principal Rawalpindi Medical College Dr Mussadaq Khan and three allied hospitals.
After reports surfaced that doctors could be involved in the prisoner’s escape, a committee comprising Dr Shoaib Shafi, Dr Bashir Malik and Dr Rubina Dhodhi, was constituted to probe into the matter.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2012.