Several policemen including a deputy superintendent (DSP) are being tried for allegedly protecting a heroin dealer and ‘losing’ dozens of kilos of the drug seized in a raid, The Express Tribune has learnt.
At the latest hearing of the case a few days ago, an additional district and sessions judge issued non-bailable arrest warrants for 36 witnesses for failing to turn up in court despite being issued several notices.
Charges were framed against the accused in the case in September, more than a year after a departmental inquiry conducted by DIG Mubasharullah was completed and declared the charges against the policemen to be substantive.
According to the inquiry, then Raiwind City SHO Mehmood Ali, acting outside his precinct, led a raid at a house on Wahdat Road in Muslim Town where they found 92kg of heroin and arrested Zarin Gul Khan. ASIs Ijaz Akhtar and Taufeeq Ahmed, Constables Zahoor Ahmed, Muhammad Ashfaq, Muhammad Asif, Shehzad Ahmed, Irfan Ahmed, Asghar Ali, Muhammad Imran, Farooq Ahmed and Muhammad Aslam and others also took part in the raid on the house, which was owned by Riffat Mehmood Ishtiaq and rented to Gul Khan.
Though the drug bust occurred in Muslim Town, the SHO wrote in the police record that the bust was made at a picket set up in Raiwind City police jurisdiction.
He wrote that the driver of the car, named Riffat Mehmood Ishtiaq, was arrested while another person who had been in the car managed to escape.
The SHO then handed over the investigation of the case to Inspector Hasnain Haider, who was in charge of investigations at Manga Mandi police station, rather than to the Raiwind City investigation officer. Further, the SHO retained control of the investigation behind the scenes.
According to the inquiry report, the policemen were bribed large sums of money to declare Zarin Gul Khan innocent in the investigation. The confiscated drug was kept at the SHO’s house rather than at the police station. Though 92kg of heroin in 552 packets had been seized, ASI Ijaz Akhtar and then Raiwind Circle DSP Muhammad Jahangir had claimed that just 92 packets had been seized.
The policemen also used Gul Khan’s car for personal work, rather than parking it in the police station. It was later handed over to Gul Khan on ‘sapurdari’.
In the police investigation report, Riffat Mehmood Ishtiaq was declared not to have been a part of the drug dealing business. He said in his statement that the drug dealers had threatened to kill him if he told on them to the police.
The inquiry by DIG Mubasharullah was completed in April 2012. DSP Jahangir was arrested in January 2013 and sent on judicial remand. He later obtained post-arrest bail. SHO Ali has left the country and been declared an absconder. Riffat Mehmood is in jail, while Gul Khan, for whom police do not have an address, has neither been arrested nor declared an absconder.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 17th, 2013.