KARACHI: The Sindh High Court, while expressing extreme displeasure over non-registration of cases regarding missing or kidnapped children, has ordered the Sindh police chief to submit a detailed report about the cases registered at all the police stations and the status of their investigation.
Headed by Justice Nadeem Akhtar, the bench gave this order on Tuesday during the hearing of a petition filed by an NGO, Roshni Research and Development Welfare, against non-registration of FIRs in cases of missing children.
According to the data compiled by the NGO, around 5,000 to 6,000 children go missing every year. As many as 2,317 children went missing from the jurisdictions of 106 police stations of Karachi during the year 2012, the group claimed, adding that instead of registering an FIR, the police recorded complaints about the missing children in their daily diary (Roznamcha).
“If a missing child is not found within 48 hours, then the police should register a kidnapping case and investigate the matter according to the law,” the group’s lawyer argued.
The court was pleaded to issue direction to the home department, Sindh Police IG and other respondents to submit a report on whether complaints of missing children were registered and investigated, and order special training for the police to deal with such cases.
On Tuesday, a report was submitted in the court by the police high-ups, who said that they had received 30 complaints regarding missing children, most of whom are girls. It was submitted that the FIR in nine such cases could not be registered. These cases include 16-year-old Shahzeb who has been missing from the limits of the Taimuria police station since May 21, ten-year-old Nazish and 16-year-old Waqas Ali who were kidnapped from the limits of Jackson police station on March 21, 12 -year-old Kainat who was allegedly kidnapped from the limits of Khawaja Ajmer Nagri police station on May 17 and 12 -year-old Samina who went missing from the limits of the Defence police station on September 23.
This information infuriated the judges who issued notices to the relevant SHOs to submit detailed replies as to why the FIRs were not registered regarding kidnapping of the eight children. The court also warned that action could be taken against the officer who fails to tender a plausible explanation. The court has issued directions to the IG police and his subordinates to ensure that an FIR is registered in every case of missing or kidnapped children.
The bench also ordered the chief of the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee to run advertisements in five national dailies of different languages, asking the parents to submit details regarding their kidnapped or missing children. The parents should also be asked whether or not their FIRs were registered by the police, said the order.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 3rd, 2013.
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