LAHORE: Newly appointed secretary Wapda, Bilal Siddique Kamyana (ex officio DIG of police service), allegedly got a proclaimed offender (PO) freed from the custody of an investigation officer, within an hour of his arrest from Model Town courts, here on Wednesday.
An investigation officer (IO) at Khanpur City Police Station in Rahim Yar Khan district, Ghulam Shabir, had reached Lahore on Wednesday to arrest PO Col (retd) Asif Khan, in a case (FIR No 4/18), registered under Section 420 and 406 of the PPC. As the accused appeared in Model Town courts in another case, the IO reached there and arrested him before the start of hearing. To complete the legal process, the IO took the accused to Qila Gujjar Singh police station for getting registered the departure of the PO from Lahore district.
In the meantime, the accused reportedly contacted top management of Wapda, after which Secretary Bilal Siddique Kamyana, DIG, reached the police station in a white corolla car, along with a police squad, to get the PO freed.
Sources said the DIG reached the office of DSP Qila Gujjar Singh in civvies and ordered for sending the people present there out of the police station. He then talked to DPO Rahim Yar Khan Umar F Salamat by telephone and conveyed the ‘message’ of some high-ups. The DPO reportedly ordered the IO to comply with the DIG Kamyana orders.
The IO extracted a pledge from the PO in writing that he would appear before him in Rahim Yar Khan on Thursday, and let him go with the ‘friends’ of the PO in another vehicle.
The complainant in the FIR, Nasir Saeed, who is a mango trader, says the PO Asif Khan had met him at the funeral of his partner Azam Khan’s younger brother. Azam introduced him to Asif Khan, who suggested the purchase of a pulping machine to expand his business. He wished to become his business partner at 20/80 ratio. The complainant deposited Rs20,100,000 (20.1 million) in his bank account (MCB-0457620751000718) through different cheques. Copies of the cheques are available with The News.
Meanwhile, the accused received one million rupees further on Feb 2, 2016, from the complainant, saying that the machine had reached Karachi and he needed more money to pay the duty. However, the machine never reached his farmhouse, and the accused kept making lame excuses.
City Khanpur police registered a case and started investigation. The accused was summoned many times, but he never appeared before the IO. The court declared him a proclaimed offender, later on. The IO conducted two raids at different times, but could not arrest him.
On Wednesday last, the IO managed to get hold of the accused, but DIG Kamyana, recently transferred from the Punjab Police Department, under mysterious circumstances, managed his freedom, according to sources.
DPO Rahim Yar Khan Umar F Salamat told The News that it was a monetary dispute and he had summoned both parties on Friday (today).
To a question that the IO had arrested him, but the DIG got him freed, the DPO said the PO was not actually released, but bound to appear before him on Friday. However, the DPO had no reply to the question as to why the IO had departed from Rahim Yar Khan to arrest him if the PO had to appear before him (DPO) on his own.
Also, DPO Umar F Salamat’s claim proved wrong when the PO did not appear before him on Friday. Sources said the investigation officer (IO) tried to contact the PO on the given cell number, but failed to get response. The DPO, when contacted on Friday, said the PO would appear before him on Monday as he was busy with the VVIP movement duty.
To another query, he said DIG Bilal Siddique Kamyana had not talked to him about the PO. However, he confirmed the PO had also worked in Wapda and he would decide the case on merit.
DIG Bilal Kamyana told this correspondent it could be propaganda against him, saying why he would go to the police station personally to get released a PO, which is a criminal offence. He said he had no powers to get a PO freed from the custody of an IO. He added that only Lahore Police Chief and DPO Rahim Yar Khan were the competent authorities to issue any such orders regarding a criminal. He also said he would not have done it even if he was the DIG Lahore.
SSP Operations Lahore Mustansir Feroze said on the issue that he was not aware of any such development. However, if any such thing had happened, the IO was responsible for the custody of the PO.
Accused Col (retd) Asif Khan was also involved in an FIR No 711/17, registered at Liaquatabad police station in Lahore under Section 406 of the PPC and also in an FIR No 19/19, registered at Raiwind City police station under sections 448, 511 and 506 of the PPC on the complaint of one Almas Aslam Malik. Accused Asif Khan and complainant Almas Aslam were once good friends, but later on they developed differences over some monetary issues. Also, it has been proved during an investigation that Col Asif was caretaker of Almas Malik and he withdrew Rs170 million from his (Almas) account.
On the other hand, complainant has lodged strong protest, saying if the senior officers would protect criminals, how people would get justice. He demanded the IGP and the Lahore High Court Chief Justice intervene in the matter for giving him justice.
The challans in both cases have been submitted in the respective courts for further legal course of action.