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April 7, 2020

Remand of suspects in DHA kidnappings case extended again


April 7, 2020

The administrative judge of anti-terrorism courts on Monday extended the remand of two suspects in police custody by a week as their questioning about last year’s kidnappings of Bisma Saleem and Dua Mangi was still under way.

The judge extended Zohaib Qureshi and Muzaffar Hussain’s physical remand for seven more days, seeking the progress report from the investigating officer as well as ordering the police to arrest the absconding suspects and present them in the next hearing.

The suspects were remanded in cases pertaining to kidnappings, attacking and injuring an official during a shootout and possessing illegal weapons. Earlier, the IO had told the court that Dua identified the suspects as her kidnappers in an identification parade before a South district judicial magistrate on March 30.

The officer said the police required an extension for holding the suspects because the men were also needed for identification parades in other cases against them. The Karachi police chief on March 18 announced the arrests of the two men for their alleged involvement in last year’s kidnappings of Bisma Saleem and Dua Mangi.

Additional Inspector General of Police (Addl IGP) Ghulam Nabi Memon made the announcement during a media briefing. Deputy Inspector General Arif Hanif and other officials from the police department as well as the Sindh Rangers were also present on the occasion.

Memon said Bisma was abducted on May 12 and Dua on November 30 from the upmarket DHA neighbourhood, and their kidnapping for ransom cases were lodged at the Darakhshan police station.

He said the investigations of both cases were conducted by the Criminal Investigation Agency, the Anti-Violent Crime Cell, intelligence agencies and other law enforcement departments. He added that the Sindh government had been especially focusing on solving these cases, and in this regard, the province’s chief minister held several meetings to facilitate the police.

The Addl IGP said the Karachi police, the Sindh Rangers, the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee and intelligence agencies were on the same page and worked together to solve these cases by analysing them from different aspects.

He said that these cases were a major challenge for all the relevant agencies, especially Dua’s kidnapping, which was highlighted in a manner that the state seemed helpless before the perpetrators because the investigators had seemingly failed to trace and arrest the culprits.

But, he added, the reality was different: the police and all the relevant agencies used the best of their resources and worked dedicatedly to trace the five suspects believed to be involved in the case.

The police chief said that finally, two of them had been arrested, namely Zohaib Qureshi, son of Mumtaz Qureshi, and Muzaffar Hussain, alias Muzzi, son of Rafiq Hussain. They were arrested in Karachi and the weapons used in the kidnappings were also seized from them, he added.

He said the culprits still at large were dismissed assistant sub-inspector of police Agha Mansoor and his accomplices Shakeel and Kamran, alias Kami. Their ringleader was Mansoor, who had provided his accomplices with SIM cards and other relevant assistance, he added.

Memon said the detained suspects had told the police that the plan to kidnap Bisma and Dua had been made by Mansoor, who had also rented a flat in Clifton Block-2, where both the abducted girls were kept until their release after receiving their ransoms.

He said the suspects also admitted to trying to avoid being tracked down by using technical apparatuses, including social networking apps, but they failed in their attempt. He added that the CM appreciated the efforts made by the police and other departments, and that a request was also made to the chief executive for awarding Rs2 million to the raiding party.

The Addl IGP said they would also request the Sindh government to announce awarding Rs5 million as head money in the case of the culprits who were still at large. He said the detained suspects were habitual criminals, who were earlier also involved in vehicle lifting and other kidnappings, while a few months ago, their gang got into a shootout with the police in District East, but they managed to escape, leaving a police constable injured.

He made the assurance that the police would provide complete security cover to Bisma and Dua’s families. He confirmed that none of the suspects possessed any political cover. He also confirmed that the gang comprised a female member, and that they conducted recce of their potential victims before their abductions.