SHC directs DIG to investigate Marri Jalbani village killings himself

December 03, 2023

The Sindh High Court has directed the DIG of Shaheed Benazirabad to conduct further investigation with regard to the allegd extrajudicial killings of four persons and injuring of nine others in the Marri Jalbani village in Sakrand town allegedly by personnel of law enforcement agencies.

The direction came on Friday on a petition seeking a judicial probe over the killing of four villagers on September 29.

The DIG filed a progress report of the case submitting that he had conducted meetings with the SSP along with members of the investigation team as well as the complainant of the case, who was satisfied with the investigation conducted by the local police. He said that SSP has submitted a detailed investigation report covering all evidence that came on record.

The Sindh High Court (SHC) building can be seen in this picture. — SHC website/File

The SSP also produced complainant Rahib Ali and the legal heirs of the deceased, besides the home department notification with regard to the payment of compensation to the legal heirs of the deceased.

A division bench comprising Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto and Justice Amjad Ali Sahito inquired the provincial law officer why Rs40 million were being paid to the legal heirs of the deceased from the taxpayers’ money when the police report was silent about the actual culprits. The court observed that the actual culprits were being saved in the police report in a case where four people were killed.

Petitioner counsel Syed Haider Imam Rizvi raised an objection over the police investigation and submitted that the mala fide investigation has been conducted in the case where four persons were killed and eight others injured. He said that fake reports were prepared by the police and requested the court to constitute a judicial commission to probe the incident.

Prosecutor general Syed Faiz H Shah submitted that investigation has been conducted by the police officials which was supervised by the DIG. He said that compensation has been paid to the legal heirs of the deceased and injured persons by the government of Sindh. He said that the charge sheet has been submitted before the competent court of law and now the petition has become infructuous.

The Rangers counsel submitted that the petitioners have alternative remedies to redress their grievances after the submission of the charge sheet before the trial court.

Complainant Rahib Ali and other legal heirs submitted that they did not know the absconding co-accused of the case. The court directed the DIG to conduct further investigations of the case himself in order to ascertain the real facts of the case and directed him to submit a progress report by December 14.

Senior advocates Tahmasp Rasheed Razvi, Zulfiqar Ali Jalbani and Aaquib Rajpar submitted in the petition that four persons were killed and nine others, including women, injured in the incident that took place on September 29.

They submitted that there were contradictory statements with regard to the incident, as on the one hand it was stated that alleged militants of the Sindhudesh Revolutionary Army were killed in the operation of police and Rangers, while on the other hand the Sindh United Party’s general secretary said that those killed were supporters of the SUP and they were killed during a protest for the release of detained student Liaquat Jalbani, who was in the custody of LEA personnel and brought to the Marri Jalbani village in the Benazirabad district.

They submitted that as per media reports the SUP’s Benazirabad district president identified the dead as Akhan Ali, his brother Nizamuddin, Mehar and Sajawal, while Allahdad and his other son Imamuddin received injuries.

They said two different versions had been narrated in the FIRs registered by villagers and the police against each other; besides, there are many other aspects of the incident which are contrary.

The advocates said the instant petition aimed to prevent violations of constitutional and legal rights of significant numbers of individuals, who may be economically or socially disadvantaged, poor or lacking in knowledge. The court was requested to direct the chief secretary to constitute a judicial commission under the supervision of a high court judge in the interest of justice, equity and good conscience and comprising other relevant experts and persons to give its findings after probing the incident and fix responsibility. They also sought release of villagers who were illegally detained after the operation.