The police always stay loyal to their conventional and casual approach of taking credit for no great work, even if it comes to sensitive cases of kidnapping for ransom, where people’s lives are at stake. Kidnapping for ransom cases in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi have witnessed a steep increase in recent months.
On July 5, the Golra police took credit for securing the release of a man kidnapped from the outskirts of Islamabad some fifteen days ago. The police investigation officer claimed that they recovered the kidnapped person in a raid at the kidnappers’ hideout in Mardan. The news ran tickers on all main TV channels.
The kidnapped person was indeed released by his captors, but not in the police raid. Rather, it took Rs1million ransom paid by the family. “Despite being given leads by us, the police failed to locate our brother,” Faiz Rasool, the elder brother of the kidnapped man, told The Express Tribune.
He suspected that the police are hands in glove with the kidnappers in all such incidents.
Faiz’s brother, a freelancer at an advertising agency, was kidnapped on the night of June 19 this year from near his home in Sector G-13/2. A car hit his motorbike. Unknown men shifted him to their white Toyota Corolla car and fled. On passersby’s complaints, the Golra police shifted his motorbike to the police station, but never bothered to trace the owner of the bike or to check what had happened to him.
Faiz’s family thought he had stayed with his friend for the night. However, they started looking for him when he did not return next day. Police conveniently lied to them when they approached the Golra police.
“The owner of the bike was injured and had gone to hospital,” Faiz quoted the police as saying. His family checked all the hospitals in the city in vain, and later submitted an FIR application relating to his disappearance.
After registering the application, the Golra police went to sleep. They were only woken up by the victim’s family, who provided the police with the location of the kidnapped man in nearby Sector G-11, which they retrieved by using their connections in a security agency. The family had received a call for from the kidnappers demanding Rs30 million ransom.
The location showed that the kidnappers kept the detainee in Islamabad and shifted him at least twice after a police raid on a flat in G-11. The police were too late. The kidnappers and the victim had already shifted to Mardan, right under the police’s noses.
By this time, Faiz, who was living in the UK, had to come to Pakistan. After watching police’s ‘efficiency in tracing the kidnapped person,’ his family decided to negotiate with the kidnappers. After few days of negotiations, they agreed on Rs1 million ransom. The victim was finally released by the abductors on July 5 near a CNG station at Rashakai interchange on the Motorway, half-an-hour after they received the money. On learning of his release, the police swung into action and took full credit.
During this time, the police rounded up many suspects from Islamabad and two from Mardan who, the police insisted, were the kidnappers. After initial investigations, the court sent them to jail on judicial remand.
If they were kidnappers, who received the ransom money and released Faiz’s brother? Why did the police fail to find the kidnapped man who was detained in Mardan if the two arrested suspects were members of a larger gang?
Now, all the suspects arrested will get bail from the court for lack of evidence, and the case will be closed. A disgruntled Faiz is now going back to the UK.
His greatest fear?
“I know I am leaving my family behind at the mercy of the most incompetent police force amid a worsening security situation.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 15th, 2013.