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September 8, 2020

Property dispute: How a Faisalabad lawyer kidnapped, killed by Sukkur Police

September 8, 2020

KARACHI: In an incident showing police penchant for barbarity, high-handedness and willful disregard for law, the Sukkur police kidnapped a senior lawyer from Faisalabad and tortured him to death in a private torture cell to oblige some influential persons.

According to official documentary evidences of correspondence between the Punjab and Sindh Police, available with this reporter, the murder of Mian Aijaz took place over a property dispute with his stepmother Shamim Bano.

Local police sources said Shamim Bano had migrated to Sukkur after the death of her husband, where she married Mian Asad Indhar, a local, and allegedly set up an ‘illegal business’ in partnership with Indhar, who is stated to be an influential person in Sukkur, having good ties with the local police, politicians, journalists and other notables.

Using his influence, Indhar allegedly got a fake case registered against Mian Aijaz, his wife Aqsa Rasheed and brother-in-law with the connivance of a main police officer of Sukkur in order to arrest and force him to surrender property in favor of his mother Shamim.

According to documentary evidences, the Sukkur Police got all the necessary approvals from the Punjab Home Department through the Sindh Home Department and constituted a special team to materialize the plan. The special team picked up Mian Aijaz from his Faisalabad home on August 17 and shifted him to a private torture cell in the Pano Aqil area of Sukkur. During his illegal detention, Mian Ijaz died from torture after which the Sukkur police allegedly dumped his body in the Bhong area of Sadiqabad – the bordering city of Punjab.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sindh Mushtaq Mahar took notice of the incident and directed SSP Sukkur Irfan Samon for an independent investigation. Additional Inspector General Sukkur Kamran Fazal wrote a letter, a copy of which is available with this reporter, to Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Sukkur Fida Hussain Mastoi, expressing displeasure over the lawyer’s killing during custody at a private torture cell and dumping of his body at an unknown place to cover up the crime. The DIG was directed to transfer the case investigation to another district.

After the tragic death of Mian Aijaz, Police Station Cantonment, Pano Aqil, registered an FIR on August 23 against Assistant Sub-Inspectors (ASIs) Gul Hassan Seelro and Ghulam Mustafa Mirani and constables Yaqoob, Naseer and Dargah Dino for kidnapping Mian Aijaz from Faisalabad and then keeping him at a private place and torturing him to death. The case was registered on the complaint of SHO Allah Wadayo Pitafi.

The police arrested all the accused, including SHO Bashir Bhayo, and took their remand from a local court; however, Shamim and her two daughters are yet to be arrested.

On the second day of the incident (August 18), Mian Ijaz’s wife Aqsa Rasheed got an FIR registered with Police Station Madina Town, Faisalabad, and nominated Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Masood Rasool Mahar (presently posted as DSP City Sukkur), a few Sindh Police officials and some unknown persons, including two stepsisters, Sobia, Adila, and stepmother Shamim, of the deceased lawyer.

Talking to The News, Aqsa Rasheed said her husband had a property dispute with his stepmother and stepsisters and a court was trying the case. She alleged that by using their influence in the Sukkur police, Shamim and her two daughters, who are now residing in Sukkur, managed the kidnapping-cum-murder of her husband.

Local sources informed this reporter that there was a property dispute between Mian Aijaz and his stepmother and sisters. Shamim’s second husband Mian Asad Indhar allegedly used his influence and got a fake case of theft of jewelry registered with the Police Station Cantonment Pano Aqil against Mian Ijaz on the complaint of his driver. A special police team was constituted to arrest the lawyer and bring him to Sukkur.

The sources said to save the skin of senior officers involved in the incident, the Sukkur police registered a case against some junior officials, who were assured of release after reduction in pressure.

It is pertinent to mention that despite the orders of IGP Sindh and Additional IG Sukkur, the police took no step to arrest the three women despite the fact that they have been nominated in the FIRs lodged in Faisalabad and Sukkur. DSP Masood Mahar told this reporter that Ms Aqsa nominated him in the FIR due to some misunderstanding. Claiming an alibi, Mahar said on the day of incident, he was in the Sindh High Court, Sukkur bench, and in the evening, he attended an official meeting headed by SSP Sukkur.

SSP Irfan Samon told this reporter that the Sukkur police team committed an illegal act by picking up a person in an unauthorized manner and then keeping him at a private place where he died unfortunately. SSP Samon said a case had been registered against the responsible police officials and there would be an impartial investigation against all the involved persons. He said Sukkur police were doing their best to arrest the remaining accused, including the stepmother and stepsisters of the deceased lawyer.

This reporter tried to reach Mian Asad Indhar and Madam Shamim through their cell phone numbers to get their comments but got no response. On the other hand, CPO Faisalabad Muhammad Sohail has written a letter to the RPO informing him about availability of CCTV footages showing a Sindh Police mobile and a private car used in kidnapping of the lawyer.

He recommended that the RPO should contact the Sindh Home department through the Punjab home department to bring the accused for joining a fair investigation by Faisalabad police. On the recommendation of CPO Faisalabad, the Punjab Home Department has approached home secretary Sindh for the handover of the accused to the Punjab Police. In an official letter sent to the home secretary Sindh, a copy of which is available with The News, the IGP Punjab has requested for assistance in the handover of over 10 persons reportedly involved in the kidnapping cum murder of Mian Aijaz.

Sukkur police have arrested all the police officials, excluding DSP Mahar, and sent them to jail on judicial remand. However, to date no effort has been made to arrest Shamim Bano, her two daughters and Mian Asad Indhar.