ISLAMABAD - Hearing the Balochistan targeted killings case, the Supreme Court on Thursday summoned the Balochistan IGP (Inspector General of Police) and other officials today (Friday) regarding the recovery of missing persons in the province.
In continuation of earlier orders, Balochistan Advocate General Amanullah Kunrani along with DIG Operations Qazi Abdul Wahid produced three missing persons - Mir Jan, Amir Khan and Gul Mir (all residents of the Sariab Mills in Quetta), before the court.
According to the recovered people, they were forcibly taken away during night hours from their houses and kept in the custody of unknown persons for about 40 days. They could not ascertain where they had been shifted and detained during the period, as they were blindfolded at the time of their arrest. They added that thereafter they were left in the Khuchlak area from where they were taken into custody by the police.
On a query, the advocate general stated that they had been detained under the MPO; however, he failed to produce any proof to substantiate his claim.
He further explained that after their recovery, all the police stations in the province had been asked to check whether they were involved in any case or not. “We failed to understand the excuses being offered by the learned advocate general. The police or for that matter any other agency has no authority to detain people without showing their arrests in a particular case and obtaining their remands from the court of law. Therefore, we direct the DIG (Operations) to take them safely to their houses so that they may not face any difficulty and no one should cause their arrest in future without informing this court”, the judges observed in the order.
The court also said: “Prima facie we are of the opinion that these persons have been recovered from some particular place, but the names of the agencies/authorities, who kept them in custody, are not being disclosed. Also it cannot be ruled out that perhaps they were detained by the police, which kept them without any legal justification and after the directives issued by this court, they had been released on the pretext that they were missing; otherwise, in such a situation they should disclose the particulars of the agencies/persons, who have been curtailing the liberty of these persons as well as four other persons, who were recovered on the last date of hearing. The Acting DIG (Investigation), against whom it is alleged that he had effected their recovery, is directed to appear in person before this court tomorrow (13.04.2012) and explain in writing that from which area these persons have been recovered.” On the last date of hearing, three other persons - Dr Naseer Ahmed; Akhtar Langov and Hafeez Rudini - were also reportedly picked up and the IGP had assured the apex court of their recovery. The IGP Balochistan is directed to appear before the court today and explain as to why he failed to fulfil his commitment. At the same time, the area SP and the SHO will also appear and submit their reports to explain why proceedings against them as they failed to protect the life and liberty to the citizens.
Another person, Mazar Khan, has not been recovered, although the court was informed that a case was registered against SHO Noor Bakhsh and presently he was behind the bars because the said person was picked up by some unknown persons in the presence of the said SHO and no action was taken by him by showing resistance.
During the proceedings, the chief secretary submitted a report wherein different aspects of the law and order situation prevailing in the province were highlighted, including the one incident in Tehsil Baghbana of Khuzdar in which it was reported that 30 persons were picked up and out of them 16 persons have been recovered, but the remaining are still missing.
The advocate general assured the bench of taking various steps regarding the recovery of missing persons.
The chief justice observed if the police officers in Balochistan were incompetent, they should leave their jobs and give opportunity to others.
The court adjourned the hearing till April 30. And in the suo moto hearing in the murder case of Mir Bakhtiar Domki’s wife and daughter, the court directed the Sindh IGP to call back Additional IG Shabbir Sheikh, who was earlier conducting the investigation but currently is in the United States for a departmental course.
“You must be aware that Balochistan is burning due to this incident. This case is more important than his departmental course,” the chief justice told the Sindh Police boss.
The IGP promised to ensure his return but said that Shabbir was not indispensable as his team was working in this case. “No team can work without captain”, the CJ replied.
Another Investigating Officer SHO Mobeen told the bench that they were trying their level best to arrest the culprits as he had interrogated the DPO Loralai. He also submitted a classified report before the bench.
Meanwhile, Bilal Bugti, a nephew of Nawab Akbar Bugti appeared before the bench and said the Sindh police was harassing the late political leader’s relatives.
The court directed the Sindh Police not to stop the practice and asked Bilal Bugti to cooperate the investigating officers in the case.