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February 20, 2021

Haleem Adil accuses Bilawal of trying to kill him after snake found in lock-up

Top Story

February 20, 2021

KARACHI: In an atypical incident, a snake was reportedly found in the police lock-up where the leader of the opposition in the Sindh Assembly, Haleem Adil Sheikh, was being kept in police custody before he was sent to jail by an anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Friday. Sheikh, however, claimed to have killed the cobra snake after he found it in the lock-up at the Special Investigation Unit of the Karachi Police’s Criminal Investigation Agency (CIA). It has been reported that the snake was noticed by a man who brought breakfast for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader. He diverted Sheikh’s attention to the cobra, after which the Sindh Assembly opposition leader immediately killed it. Following the incident, Karachi Additional IGP, Ghulam Nabi Memon, took notice of it and sought a detailed report from the CIA deputy inspector general of police (DIG). A special police team was also formed to investigate the presence of a snake in the police lock-up and to determine whether it was venomous or not and how at all it was able to go inside the lock-up.

According to the initial report prepared by the police, the snake was under a cupboard placed in a balcony attached to the room and its presence was noticed when Sheikh woke up in the morning and went to the washroom.

The initial report further stated that there was a long distance between the washroom and Sheikh’s room. It added that the building was too old as it was established in 1911 and there was a crevice in the roof near the washroom where birds had also built nests.

An ATC in Karachi had sent Sheikh to police custody for two days after the Sindh government filed a case against him for creating a law and order issue during the recent Malir by-election.

On Friday, the PTI leader was taken to court where talking to newsmen, he alleged that a conspiracy had been hatched to kill him. “Murad Ali Shah on the direction of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari let loose a snake in my cell at the CIA Centre.”

He claimed that it was a four-foot-long cobra that he killed. "Police are responsible for letting the snake in,” he said, adding that some cops were witness to him killing the cobra. DSP Aftab Alam also confirmed that a snake was found in Sheikh’s cell.

Sindh Governor Imran Ismail on Friday expressed concern over the discovery of a snake in the room where the arrested PTI leader had been detained. In a statement on Friday, the Sindh governor alleged that cases lodged against the Sindh Assembly opposition leader were based on mala fide intentions, acrimony, and grudge. He added that the Sindh government had set a bad precedent by arresting Sheikh and the provincial police had become a political tool.

Ismail went on to allege that the Sindh inspector general of police had become a political pawn. He said he had duly informed Prime Minister Imran Khan about the troubling situation.

Later on Friday, the ATC sent Sheikh to prison in a terrorism case pertaining to arson and aerial firing during the PS-88 by-election. The judge directed the investigation officer to submit the charge sheet by February 25.

The investigation officer sought further police remand of the PTI leader till March 3. The counsel for Sheikh opposed any further police remand and expressed apprehensions about his life. The ATC was informed that a snake had been found in the cell of the PTI leader, and requested to issue directions for necessary protection of the PTI leader. The ATC rejected the request for police remand and sent Sheikh to prison.

Meanwhile, PPP leader and provincial minister Nawab Taimur Talpur rejected the opposition leader Haleem Adil Sheikh's accusation that the PPP tried to kill him leaving a snake in his cell. “We have conducted an inquiry into the matter and found that there was strict security in Sheikh's room. Police have given permission to Shiekh to have meal from his home and taking advantage of it, he staged the drama of bringing a snake in his room," Talpur told a TV channel.