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September 14, 2018
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SHC dissatisfied with police progress in recovering missing children

Karachi

September 14, 2018

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Taking exception to the slow and unsatisfactory progress by police in recovering more than 20 children who went missing from across the city, the Sindh High Court (SHC) has directed the police chief to form a team headed by a DIG level officer to expedite efforts.

While hearing a petition filed by the Roshni Helpline Trust, the court directed the Sindh inspector general of police to use modern investigative techniques to locate the missing children. The court stated that action would be taken against the responsible officers if the said committee is not formed as per its instructions.

The Roshni Helpline Trust had moved the court to issue directives to the police that cases of missing children be considered as a cognisable offence and investigation should be initiated in such matters without any delay.

The petitioner’s counsel submitted that the whereabouts of 24 children were still untraceable and requested the court to direct the police to recover them. According to the petitioner, cases of missing children were not properly investigated and as a result many children had lost their lives.

Filing a progress report, the Crime Branch DIG submitted that efforts were made to trace the children and one girl, Noreen, has been recovered and returned home. An SHC division bench headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto observed that the progress of the police is very slow and unsatisfactory. The court pointed out that the Sindh police chief had earlier been directed to constitute a team headed by DIG level officer to find the children, however, the court’s order was not complied with in letter and spirit.

The bench directed the IGP to form the said team and submit a compliance report by October 3. The court also directed the investigation officer to examine the closed circuit cameras of Civil Hospital and make efforts for the recovery of the three-year-old boy who went missing from there on May 28.

The petitioner Saba submitted in her petition that son Noman went missing from the OPD of Civil Hospital and to date they did not know where he was.

In another detention case, the court directed the West SSP to appear in person and explain the reason as to why the investigation officer did not appear before the court despite the issuance of a show-cause notice. The court had earlier issued the show-cause notice to the investigation officer, who was assigned to recover missing Saifullah.

Petitioner Khawar Jan submitted that his brother Saifullah was allegedly picked up by the personnel of law-enforcement agencies on January 30, 2014 from Mauripur and still he was not produced before any court of the law.

The court took exception to the non-appearance of the investigation officer despite the show-cause notice and directed the West SSP to appear and explain their position on the next date of hearing.

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