An ugly situation was averted from becoming uglier when personnel from police and navy came at daggers drawn late on Thursday night.
According to sources in the security agencies, requesting not to be named, a group of navy officers, led by the staff officer of the naval chief’s security protocol, in an apparent attempt to influence police in a dispute between two civilians, came to the Shahzad Town Police Station and held up the police personnel hostage at gunpoint.
Police sources said that the case in question involved a monetary dispute between Nisar Hussain, who is in a wheelchair, and Raja Zulfiqar. The Navy officers at the scene included the naval chief’s protocol staff officer Lt Commodore Imtiaz Shah and Chief Provost Officer Abrar Haider Shah, who intervened on behalf of Iftikhar Shah, a cameraman for the state-owned television channel (PTV) and Abrar’s brother.
Raja Zulfiqar owed Rs0.5 million to Nisar Hussain but using delaying tactics to return it. Zulfiqar sought help from his friend Iftikhar, who asked his brother, the naval officer, to intervene and implicate Hussain in a fake case so that he stops asking for the money back.
The provost officer went to the police station to have a case registered against Hussain. When Station House Officer (SHO) Tanveer Abbasi and Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Arshad Ali Khokhar refused to register the fake case at gunpoint, Abrar Shah asked his friend, Lt Commodore Imtiaz Shah, to intervene.
The latter arrived at the police station with over 20 armed navy personnel and laid siege to the police station. They held the SHO and DSP at gunpoint and ordered them to register an FIR against Hussain.
The sources said the naval officials also roughed up an assistant sub-inspector and the complainant, Nisar Hussain.
Earlier the police had called both the parties at the police station to resolve the matter. But the cameraman thrashed Hussain in front of the police officers. When he realised that he may be booked for his misdeed, he sought help from his brother, the navy officer to rescue him from the situation.
Meanwhile police called for reinforcements, which got to the station and ordered the naval personnel to leave or be fired upon. The police registered a case against Iftikhar and “unknown men”.
“Anyone here can tell you the ‘unknown men’ were naval officials, but we cannot arrest them for being members of the armed forces,” said a Shehzad Town police official.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 11th, 2012.