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February 26, 2020

SSP Shikarpur informs IGP of threats to life

National

February 26, 2020

KARACHI: Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Shikarpur Dr. Muhammad Rizwan has informed Inspector General Police (IGP) Sindh, Dr. Kaleem Imam, that Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Sheikh had threatened him, his family members’ and his subordinate police officers. The SSP Shikarpur told the IGP that he fears for their safety.

In his detailed letter to IGP Sindh Dr. Kaleem Imam, SSP Dr. Rizwan blamed some senior Sindh ruling party leaders and a provincial minister for hurling threats to him, his family members’ and his subordinate officers. Furthermore, Rizwan warned Imam that due to alleged patronizing of criminals by political leaders, district Shikarpur may witness a serious breakdown of law and order. Tensions have been simmering between the minister and SSP Rizwan when earlier last month the police officer told DIG Larkana that Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Sheikh was allegedly patronizing criminals and using them for political and financial gains.

Things, however, took a different turn when on February 14 during a Police encounter, an accused Mohammad Hassan Teghani, who also happens to be the nephew of Teghani tribal chief Tegho Khan Teghani associated with PPP, was injured and arrested by Shikarpur Police to the annoyance of the PPP leaders. While the Shikarpur Police claimed the encounter to be genuine, the relatives of accused blamed Police for injuring Hassan in a fake encounter. The Sindh Home Department on the orders of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah constituted an inquiry committee to probe into the encounter.

Both the Home Department’s directive for inquiry and SSP Rizwan’s letter to IGP Sindh have surfaced at a time when CM Sindh, provincial ministers and PPP's top leadership are engaged in a tussle with IGP Dr. Kaleem Imam and some of the Police officers including SSP Dr. Rizwan. According to the notification of Sindh Home Department, an inquiry committee has been constituted to be headed by Commissioner Larkana and comprising DIG Larkana Range, DC Shikarpur, and DHO Shikarpur to probe into the Police encounter. The committee was directed to submit its findings within three working days. The inquiry, according to Home Department was constituted at the complaint of Abdul Nabi Teghani, who is the Teghani tribal chief and uncle of the accused Hassan Teghani.

It is pertinent to mention here that Sindh High Court order in former IGP Sindh Police ‘AD Khawaja case’ defined that the Police hierarchy has to “act through IGP who must have control over its affairs as regards its operations and command. There should be no interference, direct or indirect in the operational command. No authority or body or the provincial government itself including any minister of whatever rank could issue any order, direction, instruction, guideline, circular or notification that impacted on, compromised, affected, negated, eroded or otherwise curtailed or reduce the Police force’s autonomy of command and independence of operation.” Against this backdrop, the Sindh Home Department's action of constituting the inquiry committee is violative of the Police Act 2019 which clearly defines that all complaints must be taken up by Sindh Public Safety and Police Complaints Commission.

Abdul Rasheed Channa, Spokesman of Sindh Chief Minister, told The News that there were no differences between Police and the Sindh government ministers but as the provincial chief executive, he could order an inquiry into any alleged wrongdoing. The order of Sindh Home department was according to law and not in the contradiction of the Sindh High Court orders and Police Act, Channa concluded.

Referring to the Police encounter in his letter to IGP, SSP Rizwan accused Hassan Teghani of being a proclaimed offender. Rizwan said Hassan along with his father and brothers are hardened criminals against whom over 40 cases of heinous nature are registered. He said Abdul Wahid Teghani, brother of Hassan is also nominated in the murder of DSP Rao Shafiullah in 2019.

SSP Dr Rizwan informed the IGP that following Hassan's arrest, a notified and notorious criminal Bello Teghani threatened SHO Garhi Yasin Inspector Imtiaz Ahmed Khoso of revenge for arresting Hassan. According to SSP Rizwan, the Teghani tribe is a menace in the riverine areas of Shikarpur and is involved in a large number of kidnappings and robberies under the alleged patronage of its tribal chief, Sardar Tegho Khan. The SSP that over 350 proclaimed offenders and absconders of the Teghani tribe are wanted by police. SSP Rizwan said Sardar Tegho Khan is patronized by Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Sheikh. He also accused the minister of being allegedly involved in highway robberies, kidnappings for ransom and killing of more than 70 including 13 police officers.

Dr. Rizwan had taken over the charge of SSP Shikarpur on August 24, 2019, but was surrendered by the Sindh province on December 6, 2019. The SSP was however reinstated by SHC on January 29, 2020. In his letter to the IGP, SSP Shikarpur said he fears that some harm might come to him, his family and subordinates.

While talking to The News, Provincial Minister Imtiaz Sheikh refuted these charges, saying that he never threatened the SSP, claiming that in fact, he had never spoken to that police officer. Sheikh blamed SSP Rizwan of conspiring against him and his companions due to his alleged connections with rival Birohi tribe.