The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the inspector general of the Punjab Police (IGP) to take action against Rawalpindi police officers for complicating the investigation into the abduction of a young woman.
A two-member bench comprising Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed directed the IGP to examine a report about the investigation and supervisory officers of the Rawalpindi police involved in the abduction of Nadia Mushtaq.
“Disciplinary action could be taken against the police officers for carrying out faulty investigations in the case,” said Punjab Additional Advocate General (AAG) Jawad Hassan in response to a query from the bench on what actions had been taken against the policemen responsible.
Rawalpindi Operations Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Israr Ahmed Abbasi could not satisfy the bench when asked what actions had been taken or recommended against the investigators and supervisors found to be complicating the simple case.
The bench directed the IGP to collect a report submitted by the Rawalpindi police and take necessary action. He was also asked to submit his report to the SC within one month before adjourning proceedings.
The report submitted by the additional advocate general and signed by SSP Abbasi contained the names of 27 policemen including three superintendents of police (SP) from Rawalpindi division, three deputy superintendents of police (DSP) from Civil Lines, 15 station house officers (SHO) from Airport Police Station and six Airport police investigation officers from the period between November 25, 2006 and June 30, 2009.
The SPs are Yasin Farooq, Sardar Maqsood Khan and Rana Shahid Pervaiz, while the supervisory officers are Ashfaq Anwar, Taifur Akhtar and Mujahid Husain.
The report has stated that the investigators did not take keen interest in recovering Nadia Mushtaq, who went missing from the Airport area in 2006, and needlessly complicated the simple case. The delayed investigations led to the destruction of case evidence.
After June 2009, different Rawalpindi police teams were constituted to trace the whereabouts of Mushtaq, who is the daughter of a retired police sub inspector.
The teams hit a brick wall after tracking down Islamabad Police Constable Munawar Shah as the last person known to have had contact with the girl. The constable lost his life in a suicide attack on the Rescue 15 office in Islamabad.
In January 2013, Mushtaq was recovered from Wah along with a man later determined to be her husband, and their two children after her brother learnt of her whereabouts and informed police high-ups.
In a statement to a judicial magistrate in Rawalpindi, she claimed that the deceased Islamabad police constable Shah had forced her to marry his younger brother.
She said that during her six years in captivity, she was initially kept in a house near Wah under watch and later sold to a man in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and then sold again to a man in Sindh before finally returning to Wah.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 7th, 2013.
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