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June 16, 2019

Police involve traders in robbery case


June 16, 2019

Islamabad : The Tarnol Police station in Islamabad has registered a somewhat perplexing First Information Report (FIR) against 11 individuals on 23rd May, 2019 over a business dispute, allegedly involving money worth Rs45 million.

According to the FIR No. 222/19, lodged by one Abid Mir, resident of Gulberg, Lahore, he was deprived of 434 carpets worth Rs45 million, allegedly at gun point at a godown of the accused party located in Sirai Kharbooza near Tarnol.

This could be phrased a unique and its own kind of armed robbery which cropped up on robber’s venue.

A police officer attached with an investigation agency, when contacted said on the condition of anonymity, “The script of FIR left many signs of interrogation as how a business dispute was transformed in armed dacoity case? Why the people engaged in the investigation of the case, were reluctant to recover weapons used in the offence? Who was behind the case, manipulation or bribery? The FIR pointed up the impression just to develop pressure on the accused party to settle the business issue in favour of the complainant.” It was Punjab model policing, where the case could be moulded according to the circumstances, officer concluded.

The complainant, Abid Mir, stated in the FIR that he has been living in Singapore for the last 40 years and was doing international level carpet business there. He said that he sent a consignment of various sizes of carpets from Singapore to Karachi on 17 March, 2019 which arrived in Karachi on 29 March, 2019. The consignment was cleared by the customs on 15 April, 2019 and was dispatched for Islamabad on 20 April 2019. The consignment was received in Islamabad by Muhammad Naseem, son of Haji Hashmatullah.

He stated in the FIR that the consignment contained a total of 584 carpets, out of which 150 carpets belonged to other people. He said that on 3 May, 2019, he reached the residence of Muhammad Naseem where the carpets were stored. He was accompanied by Mushtaq Ali son of Wazir Ali, Muhammad Maqsood, son of Muhammad Sharif Shafiq, Rufin Javed Daniel son of Daniel, and Mehboob Wali son of Fazle Akbar and inspection of all the carpets, which were counted as 584.

The complainant stated that he delivered 150 carpets to the people whom those belonged. During this process, Nasim Khan son of Haji Hashmatullah, resident of House 30/2, Chughtai Colony, Tarnol, Islamabad, Naqibullah son of Haji Hashmatullah, Jamil Khan son of Haji Hashmatullah, Taj Akbar, Farooq Khan, Sheraz Khan, Gul Akbar, Kalam Khan, Arshad Khan, Saeed Khan, Jamal Khan, Shafiullah son of Sher Muhammad, took out their weapons and pointed at the applicant, threatening of his life and told him to hand over the carpets to them. The complainant said that to save his life he let these people take away all the remaining carpets.

The Tarnol Police registered the FIR under armed dacoity charge (395 PPC) and arrested one of the nominated alleged culprits, Naseem, who was later released on bail while the remaining culprits named in the FIR, got pre-arrest bail.

However, when contacted by ‘The News’, Naseem said that the whole case is concocted and is based on malicious intent. He said that they were doing business with Abid Mir for many years and they were sending carpets to him to Singapore and he used to pay them as those were sold by him there, keeping his profit.

“However, for some time he stopped sending them money and eventually told them that his business is no longer feasible and he was shutting that down. He returned the carpets consignment, as is stated in the FIR and said that he will settle the matter personally.

He arrived in Islamabad on 3 May, 2019 and went to my residence where the carpet consignment was kept,” Naseem said.

He said that the consignment was opened in his presence. He said that Abid Mir gave away 150 carpets, which according to him belonged to other people while left the remaining 434 carpets with us to settle the money he owed to them, which amounts to $268,500.

He said that although the remaining 434 carpets fell far short of the money, Abid Mir, owed to them, yet they agreed to settle the money dispute in exchange of these carpets, which belonged to many parties engaged in carpet business and not to a single person.

He alleged that the police wrongfully implicated most of these people nominated in the FIR because they were not present on the scene. Some were in their hometowns out of Islamabad and one Gul Akbar, nominated in the FIR was not even in Pakistan as he was travelling from Lebanon to Islamabad and reached here on 4 May, 2019, a fact which could be corroborated from his passport and other travel documents.

Similarly, the fact that many of those nominated in the FIR were not present in Islamabad, again something that could easily be confirmed by checking the mobile communications of their personal cell phones. He said that the police have mentioned in the FIR that we pulled out weapons and pointed at Abid Mir, which is a lie and could again be corroborated from a number of other people who were present during the whole exercise of opening and checking the carpet consignment. He said that the FIR is full of lies.

“We are cooperating with the police in the investigations and have appeared before the Investigation Officer (IO) as well as SP of Saddar Circle in the case whenever we were called. We appeal to the Inspector-General of Police of Islamabad to hold an inquiry into the matter and provide us relief,” accused Naseem said while talking to this scribe.

When contacted the Superintendent of Police (SP) Saddar Circle, Malik Muhammad Naeem, said that he was aware of the case and he himself had called the Station House Officer of Tarnol to explain the case. SP Naeem also said that the claim of the accused that Abid Mir owed them $268,000 is false as the actual monetary dispute is of $110,000 only.

“We are conducting investigations into the case purely on merit and it would be decided in light of the facts which will be revealed during the course of investigations,” the SP Saddar Circle said.

The Deputy Inspector-General Operations (DIG-Opps), Syed Waqaruddin, when contacted said that the lower rank officials do make such mistakes inadvertently or deliberately.

“I will personally look into this case as I do feel that there are grey areas in this case and the things are not as those are being stated,” he added.