KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the provincial Rangers director-general, the provincial police chief and others on a petition seeking the whereabouts of five alleged missing persons.
A two-judge bench, headed by Justice Sadiq Hussain Bhatti, directed the federal and provincial law officers to submit the replies from the relevant authorities by the next date of hearing. The bench also issued a show-cause notice to Inspector Mir Muhammad Lashari for his absence in the court despite being given notice to appear personally to inform the court about progress in the case.
The petitioners alleged that the law enforcers had taken their relatives into custody without any reason, failing to disclose their whereabouts even after a week of illegal detention. The court was informed that the Rangers took away Muhammad Azhar from Gulshan-e-Iqbal on June 16 but no information about him was shared with his family.
The judges were further told that the law enforcers had detained three more men, namely Ishrat Hussain, Muhammad Akbar and Qaiser Muhammad, during a similar raid the same day. However, their families also remained clueless about their whereabouts as the officials repeatedly refused to entertain their pleas for information.
In yet another incident, Mirza Muhammad was taken into custody by the law enforcement agencies, who had yet to reveal any information about his whereabouts.
The petitioners argued that such detentions were illegal and violated the fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution, as the detainees had no involvement in any criminal or anti-state activities. They feared that the lives of the missing men may be in danger and pleaded to the court to order the Rangers and police authorities to disclose information about them. They also requested the court to declare such detentions as illegal and to direct the officials to set the detainees free as soon as possible.
After hearing the initial arguments, the judges issued notices to the Rangers DG, the Sindh IG and others, directing the deputy attorney-general and advocate-general to file their comments by the next date of hearing.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 26th, 2015.
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