Lawyer’s murder: Three weeks on, police still groping in the dark

Police, family sources blame initial lax approach for current situation.


Our Correspondent April 16, 2013
The police initially claimed the motive was an old enmity. PHOTO: FILE

RAWALPINDI:


Almost three weeks after the murder of a Supreme Court lawyer in Rawalpindi, the case seems to have gone cold with the police still unable to identify a suspect or motive.


Chaudhry Muhammad Khan was gunned down near Fauji Foundation Hospital Rawalpindi on March 28. The police registered a case against unidentified killers and started investigation, but the investigation has gone nowhere.

The police initially claimed the motive was an old enmity, but the family contradicted the police, saying neither they nor Khan had an enmity with anyone.

A senior police officer told The Express Tribune that the police were not initially taking the case seriously, but after pressure from Supreme Court, they constituted a proper investigation team.

“The investigation is now underway and it will take time. We don’t have Aladdin on hand to rub a lamp and send a genie out to capture the killers,” he said.

He said the crime was committed by professional killers, leaving behind no clue.

“We are taking utmost care in tracing the killers. Errors can be made, but we are avoiding it by pursuing the case patiently and according to procedure,” he added.

He said collecting and preserving evidence is necessary to come to a conclusion, no matter how long that takes.

“The fact that this case involves a prominent lawyer places extra pressure on the police to resolve the case, especially after the Supreme Court’s suo motu notice,” he admitted.

Even the police’s offer of a reward of Rs500,000 for evidence leading to an arrest yielded no useful information. A press statement issued earlier by the police assured that the name and identity of anyone providing information would be kept secret.

Rawalpindi Operations Senior Superintended of Police Mujahid Akbar Khan said that most police officials are already busy in preparations for the upcoming elections, but the investigation is still being worked on.

“For the time being, we don’t have any information about the culprits to share. However, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Abdus Sattar has been called in from Lahore and is supervising the investigation team. We are expecting positive outcomes,” he said.

The investigation team is scheduled to produce an inquiry report in the Supreme Court tomorrow.

Investigation officer Sub-Inspector Muzaffar refused to talk when approached by this correspondent.

Chaudhry Muhammad Shaheen, the son of the deceased lawyer, expressed dissatisfaction over the investigation team’s work and said no headway has been made yet.

“The police’s non-serious approach is why the culprits have not been located. My father was an 80-year old man…we have no enmity with anyone,” he said.

Shaheen said the police have not shared information from the investigation report with him, adding that if they have completed it, they should take action against the killers immediately.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 17th, 2013. 

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