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May 15, 2019

Man implicated in drugs case freed


May 15, 2019

LAHORE: Lahore Police allegedly continued implicating innocent citizens in drugs peddling cases under the garb of crackdown on drugs dealers despite the fact that the actual drugs mafia is roaming about the City unhindered and doing illegal business with full immunity.

A similar incident of police highhandedness was reported in Hurbanspura. Mughalpura police under the supervision of the then SHO Rai Nasir Abbas raided the house of one Hafiz Usman, 35, son of Ramzan, at Kotli Peer Abdul Rehman, Harbanspura, on the midnight between November 8 and Nov 9, 2018.

Police team led by T/ASI Mubashar, Allah Wasaya, Sultan Shah, Amir, the kar-e-khas of SHO, and six unidentified cops barged into the house of the victim which is located in the Hurbanspura police limits without any prior notice to the local police. The victim’s mother, Amna, in her application to the capital city police officer (CCPO) stated that the accused cops harassed the women at home and used abusive language. The cops also called them drugs dealers. She said that the cops also dragged her daughter-in-law in front of her husband, who is a heart patient.

Later on, they went to the upper storey of the house and arrested her son Hafiz Usman without showing any arrest warrants or giving any reason behind his arrest. The cops also took away a bike, LED TV and a digital camera along with them the way the robbers do, she alleged.

In the morning of November 9, Hafiz Usman’s family started search for him at the police station but failed. Later on, they got information that Usman was kept under the illegal custody of ASI Sultan Shah at his Dera. Sultan Shah allegedly brokered a deal with the victim family through one Ahmad and received Rs 160,000 in cash to release Usman.

The family was expecting his release but due to intervention of a notable of the area, ASI Sultan Shah returned Rs 143,000 in cash out of the total given amount to the family but refused to release Usman.

Police registered case No. 1453/18 under Section 9-C CNSA on November 12 after keeping him in illegal custody for three days. The complainant of the FIR, SI Abdul Ghafoor, concocted a story in the FIR that he arrested Hafiz Usman from Budhu Aawa graveyard on a tip-off that he was selling charas at a bike, No. LEP-14A-8316 and recovered 1,570 garam charas. The story in the FIR further reads that with the confession of Usman that his brother Suleman brings drugs from Peshawar and they both sell it in Lahore.

Hafiz Usman was sent to jail on judicial remand and incomplete challan of the case was submitted in the court on November 17, 2018. The trial of the victim started in February 2019. The prosecution badly failed to prove charge against accused beyond reasonable doubt. An additional sessions judge observed that the prosecution had failed to establish the safe custody of recovered substance and its safe transmission to the office of chemical examiner. The statements of the cops were also contradictory. FIR was registered within 15 minutes of the arrest of the accused person which also created doubts. Keeping in view the contradictory statements and lack of proper evidence, the judge acquitted the accused, Usman, of the charge by giving him the benefit of the doubt on April 25, 2019.

Following which, Hafiz Usman was released after over five months of imprisonment. He runs a business of glass paper on Beadon Road and has two children. He has two brothers; one is settled in the UK for the last 15 years while the other named Suleman is living separately on Kala Khatai Road.

According to the family, Suleman is a drug addict but he never sold drugs. Police instead of taking Suleman into their custody for further investigation trespassed the sanctity of home, harassed and manhandled women and implicated an innocent person in a heinous crime, the family said.

Usman told The News that he and his family were harassed and threatened by cops. He added investigation officer Khalid had subjected him to torture and demanded bribe. The charas was proven garbage in the court while the witnesses' statements also proved a pack of lies.

In the meantime, the CCPO directed the SSP Investigation to hold inquiry into the incident. The SSP marked the inquiry to the Mughalpura DSP. In his inquiry report, the DSP stated the court would decide whether the accused was innocent or not.

The DSP further stated that he summoned former Mughalpura SHO Rai Nasir Abbas repeatedly but he never appeared which is a sheer violation of discipline and is subject to strict action. He recommend action against Rai Nasir over violation of discipline and keeping two cops, head constable Allah Wasaya and constable Muhammad Amir, with him despite the fact that they were not posted in Mughalpura police station. The DSP also summoned both cops but they too did not appear before him. The DSP also recommended action against them.

Both cops, Allah Wasaya and Amir, were members of the team which raided the house of Hafiz Usman. Later on, former SSP Operations Mustansir Feroze held an inquiry against the accused cops. The statements of victims and accused cops were recorded. Dramatically, the inquiry has now been sent to Wahdat Colony DSP.

The victim family has alleged that the accused cops have been managing the inquiry to escape departmental action. The court has exonerated Hafiz Usman but Lahore police commanders have yet to take action against the “daring cops.”

The former Mughalpura SHO is said to be notorious for implicating innocent citizens in fake cases and subjecting them to torture. He was suspended from service many times.

An inquiry held by SP Headquarters had held the then Sattukatla SHO Rai Nasir Abbas and his three constables guilty of illegally raiding a guesthouse and recommended stern action against them in October 2014.

Former SSP Operations Mustansir Feroze on the issue said the departmental inquiry was underway at the time of his transfer. Some of the witnesses had to appear. To a question, he said the cops, including former SHO Rai Nasir Abbas, were already proven guilty in the regular inquiry.

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