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June 18, 2019

Murder of 3 brothers in Umarzai exposes poor police response


June 18, 2019

PESHAWAR: The cold-blooded murder of three brothers and the lethargic response by the local police that allowed the prime suspect to leave the country shows how the force at the police station level failed to provide justice to a common man until the case was highlighted by the mainstream and social media.

In most of the cases, the people coming to police stations suffer due to poor handling by the officers and the junior staff. Despite a number of reforms introduced in the force, the families of victims face a number of issues when they have to approach the police. Three brothers were gunned down allegedly by a local landlord Nadir Khan over a property dispute in the Umarzai village in Charsadda district last month.

The families of the victims later approached the mainstream and social media to lodge complain that the local police were reluctant to go after the criminals as the prime accused was related to certain top retired and serving cops.

It was only after the case was highlighted in the media that the senior police officers acted, met the heirs of the slain brothers and held a press conference. Some of the co-accused in the case were arrested.

Some political leaders and the police chief of the province also visited the families and assured them of justice.The prime accused in the case is still at large. He is believed to have escaped to Malaysia. It was not known as to how easily he escaped to another country soon after the murders.

The bodies of the victims were lying in the hujra (male guesthouse) of the accused for a couple of hours before their relatives and the police came to know about the tragedy.The family complained that the police did not move quickly enough and this gave the accused time to flee from his hometown and later escape from the country.

Despite complaints by the family about the slow response from the police, an official claimed the force moved soon after the incident and there was no negligence on the part of either the local station house officer (SHO), sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) or other officials.

A source in the KP Police said a number of damage-control measures were being taken to arrest the prime accused in the triple murder case and bring him to Pakistan from abroad in the coming days after the issue was highlighted across the country and earned a bad name for the force.

The source claimed the senior police officials were in contact with the officials at the ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs to arrest the prime accused, Nadir Khan, from Malaysia immediately after completion of the legal requirements.

“Inspector General of Police Mohammad Naeem Khan has made it clear in his meetings with the heirs to the slain brothers that police will make all-out efforts to arrest the culprits. All the relatives of the victims have expressed satisfaction at the measures taken by the police so far to provide justice to the family,” a spokesman for the KP Police Shahzada Kokab Farooq told The News.

Another official said the police had taken into custody around 30 accused in the case including five facilitators. The official said one Naseem who sheltered the main accused, Nadir Khan, arranged air ticket for him and accompanied him to Malaysia was arrested in Islamabad after his return from abroad. The National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) has been asked to block the computerised national identity cards of the accused and the State Bank of Pakistan was requested to freeze the bank accounts of the suspects.

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