The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday directed a DIG-led special police team to provide B-forms (child registration certificates) of 18 missing children to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for checking their travel history.
Hearing a petition for the recovery of missing children, the SHC’s division bench headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto directed the DIG to provide a progress report detailing every step taken to recover each of the missing children.
FIA Director Munir Sheikh said the B-forms of the missing children were required to find out if any of them have been taken out of the country. A progress report has been submitted on behalf of the Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) DIG mentioning the details of the efforts being taken for recovering the missing children. The DIG said a meeting was held with the FIA to discuss the human smuggling aspect of the missing children.
He said B-form details of the missing children were provided to the FIA for ascertaining their travel history, adding that police teams also visited several NGO-run shelter homes to locate the kids.
The DIG said advertisements were published in various newspapers and TV channels were also approached for airing the details of the missing children. He said police teams were sent to Dadu and Balochistan to recover one of the missing girls, while the whereabouts of another girl are still unknown.
The SHC directed the DIG to provide B-forms to the FIA so the travel history of the missing children can be checked. The court also directed the DIG and the FIA to submit their progress reports by February 21.
The Roshni Helpline Trust had moved the high court asking it to issue directives to the police that the missing children’s cases should be considered cognisable offences and investigations must be initiated without any delay.
The petitioner’s counsel had said the whereabouts of 18 children were still unknown and requested the court to direct the police to recover them, adding that the cases of missing kids were not properly investigated, resulting in the loss of lives of many children.
Missing persons’ cases
The SHC directed the provincial task force and the joint investigation teams to submit their progress reports with regard to the recovery of missing persons who allegedly disappeared or were picked up by law enforcement agencies in Karachi.
Hearing the petitions of Safia Baloch and Mohammad Ibrahim with regard to the alleged illegal detention of Syed Affan Ahmed and Anwar Saeed, who have been missing since September 16, 2014, the court directed the provincial task force to submit its reports. The SHC said the federal government, including the defence ministry, had failed to file comments.