Illegal detention?: Relevant secretaries notified over failure to recover missing persons

Asked to explain to the court under what law the people have been picked up.

Our Correspondent November 13, 2013
Asked to explain to the court under what law the people have been picked up. DESIGN: SIDRAH MOIZ KHAN


The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Tuesday issued notices to secretaries of the ministries of defence and interior and the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Home and Tribal Affairs department over their failure to recover 25 missing persons from the province and tribal areas.

A two-member bench comprising PHC Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Asadullah Khan Chamkani also directed the secretaries to present the missing persons in the next hearing.

The missing persons include Zahidur Rehman and Israfil of Bara, Khyber Agency; Khan Niaz and Sajid Khan of Lakki Marwat; Akbar Khan and Nisar Khan of Swat; Shamsul Abideen of Hangu; Rasool Niaz of Bannu; Muhammad Abid, Khalilur Rehman, Fidaur Rehman, Muhammad Haris and Inamullah of Kohat; Shal Akbar and Baizad Khan of Jamrud; Imran, Kalimullah, Muhammad Rehman and Abdul Qahar of Gulberg, Peshawar.

The bench was informed the missing people were allegedly picked up by security forces and the police, and have been missing for several years. The families later filed applications at the PHC after there was no sign of their whereabouts.

After hearing the arguments, the court directed interior, defence and home and tribal affairs secretaries to inform the court under what law the missing persons had been picked up. It added the persons should be presented before the court for trial if they were guilty of any crimes.

In a similar case, petitioner Shehnaz, a resident of Hangu, filed an application over his missing son Zainul Abideen. Shehnaz claimed the police thrashed his other son Muhammad Atif when he got to know about Zain being in custody at a nearby police station.

Upon hearing this, the court directed K-P IGP to conduct an inquiry into the matter and take action against officials responsible for the illegal detention. The bench also summoned Hayatabad police SHO to appear before the court in the next hearing pertaining to the case of another missing person, Imran Khan. The hearing was then adjourned till November 27.

In yet another case, the court summoned K-P IGP and Peshawar Central Prison superintendent to appear and explain why an accused was picked up even after being released on bail.

Advocate Shabir Husain informed the court Roohullah, brother of petitioner Asadullah, was arrested along with some others with explosive jackets by Chamkani police on May 24, but the prosecution could not produce any evidence against them.

Police then accused Roohullah in another case of bombing an election office in the jurisdiction of Khazana police station on April 20, but an anti-terrorism court on July 9 accepted his bail plea and he was released on surety bonds. However, he was later allegedly picked up secret agencies from outside the main gate of his residence, said the petitioner’s counsel.

Lawyers representing Frontier Corps and the provincial government
expressed ignorance about the whereabouts of the missing person.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 13th,2013.


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