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September 20, 2017

SHC orders removal of biased investigation officer, tells IGP to supervise probe

Karachi

September 20, 2017

The Sindh High Court on Tuesday ordered the provincial police chief to personally look over the Tania Khaskeli murder case and replace the current investigation officer with a senior, honest and reputable officer.

The decision was taken after the bench found the investigation officer’s response to a court query unsatisfactory. The question was asked after the girl’s father, Ghulam Qadir, expressed concern over the IO’s partiality and said the officer was influenced by the feudal lord who killed Tania.

During the hearing of the suo moto case, the SHC’s division bench headed by Chief Justice Justice Ahmed Ali M Sheikh was given an update over the progress of the investigation.

Nineteen-year-old Tania was gunned down by an influential landlord inside her house, on September 7, for refusing his marriage proposal. The main accused, Khan Noohani, a feudal landlord of the Jhangara Bajara town, was said to have barged inside her house along with his associates.

Tania’s family stated in their complaint that Noohani had also twice attempted to kidnap her. They observed that after an FIR was registered against the accused, they started threatening the family to have them withdraw the case, whereas the police was also not arresting the suspects owing to their political influence.

SSP Jamshoro informed the court that the key accused, his associate, Maula Bux, were arrested by the police from Kotri following a shootout on September 18, whereas sections 6 and 7 of the anti-terrorism act have been inserted in the murder case. The accused were said to be in possession of illicit weapons at the time of their arrest.

Submitting a progress report before the court, the SSP observed that SHO Jhangara and SIP Mohammad Ali Khaskheli were suspended for negligence and failure to arrest the nominated accused in time; departmental proceedings have also been initiated against them.

On the other hand, DIG Hyderabad informed the court that the third absconding accused will soon be arrested too.

With respect to the complaints of the victim’s family that lives of other family members and their school going girls are also under imminent danger, the SSP Jamshoro told the court that the family was being guarded by policemen.

The court directed that DIG Hyderabad and SSP Jamshoro to personally ensure that no harm is caused either to the complainant or any member of his family including the school going girls.

The court warned that in case of any harm, the DIG and the SSP shall be held responsible. The court adjourned the matter till September 29 and directed Additional Inspector General Legal, DIG Hyderabad and SSP Jamshoro to appear along with their respective progress reports.