Friday May 20, 2022

Prime suspect in Dua Mangi case flees

January 29, 2022

KARACHI: Another day, another embarrassment for the police. On the one hand, the incidents of crimes keep rising with every passing day, while on the other hand, tales of the crime fighters’ own crimes further dampen the spirits of hapless citizens who keep awaiting a miracle. The latest episode in the never-ending soap opera of police corruption came in the case of Dua Mangi’s kidnapping, when the main accused hoodwinked his custodians into taking him on a shopping trip before giving them the slip.

The incident came to light on Thursday, when the jail police found him (Zohaib Qureshi) absent during counting on the return of the prisoners from court. The Ferozabad police then took action and arrested both the custodians.

“It is not new – the prisoners often use to escape usually from the courts but the prisoner’s escape from a mall is definitely new,” said a senior police official, who wished not to be named.

It was on Thursday when the prisoners were brought to the court by the police as per routine, when the two policemen of the Court Police – head constable Naveed and constable Zafar Habib brought Zohaib Ali, son of Mumtaz Ali (prime suspect in Dua Mangi kidnapping case) and four other accused before the court of Judicial Magistrate VII East in a case of Ferozabad police.

The accused got the next date of hearing and was escorted back to the jail by head constable Naveed and constable Zafar Habib. But instead of taking him back to the jail in prisoners van like others prisoners, head constable Naveed used a private car for Qureshi to buy shoes from Tariq road, from where the accused escaped with the assistance of the police.

In the FIR, the police have nominated the two policemen, namely Naveed and Habib Zafar and a fleeing suspect named Zohaib Qureshi, while the police have placed the Sections of assisting the prisoners in fleeing in the FIR. Both the arrested policemen belong to the Court Police.

The arrested cops in their initial statement stated that Zohaib Qureshi was produced before a judicial magistrate court and later they took him on a private car. “We took him to the shopping mall as he on the way asked for a shopping, from where he escaped,” the arrested policemen stated.

The CCTV footage exposed how the policemen helped the suspect in fleeing. The CCTV footage obtained by The News clearly showed that wearing neat and clean clothes, the suspect entered the shopping mall on Tariq Road from the front door and fled from the backdoor.

The CCTV footage showed that the suspect Zohaib Qureshi only came out of a car without handcuffs and no policeman was with him. The police investigators have also started tracing the car used in the escape with the help of the CCTV footages on the cameras installed on Tariq Road and its surroundings.

On the other hand, the police officials said that the arrested policemen had failed to satisfy the police investigators about why they used a private car instead of prisoners van. The police investigators suspected that the car used in abetting was already a part of the escape plan.

A day has been passed after the Qureshi’s escape; however, the law enforcers failed to re-arrest the fleeing suspect. However, the Ferozabad police have registered a case against the two policemen, from whose custody the suspect escaped, and also arrested them.

The fleeing suspect - Qureshi and two of his companions were arrested in one of the high-profile cases of kidnapping for ransom in Karachi - Dua Mangi abduction case. Mangi was kidnapped in November 2019 from Defence Housing Authority. The suspects also shot her friend who was with her at the crime scene.

In October 2021, Mangi had identified three suspects, including Qureshi as her kidnappers during a hearing at an Anti-Terrorism Court. She had said that she could identify only Qureshi, Ali, and Raja as they were the ones who had bundled her into a car and shot Fatah, her friend for trying to save her.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, while taking serious notice of the Zuhaib Qureshi’s escape, the main accused of Dua Mangi kidnapping case, directed the IG police to lock up the policemen concerned and constitute a high-profile police party to arrest the fleeing suspect.

The chief minister was told that accused Zohaib Ali, son of Mumtaz Ali Qureshi along with four accused, was brought before the court of Judicial Magistrate VII East on January 27 in a case of Ferozabad police. The accused got the next date of hearing and was escorted back to the jail by head constable Naveed and constable Zafar Habib.

The report said that in connivance with HC Naveed, the accused used a private car to buy shoes from Tariq road and escaped from there due to negligence of the head constable.It may be noted that accused Zohaib Qureshi is already convicted in a case, besides being tried in nine other cases, including the Dua Mangi kidnapping case of December 2019.

The police, on the instructions of the chief minister, have registered a case of Zohaib Qureshi’s escape from the police custody (FIR No. 48/2022), and quarter guarded/locked up HC Naveed and constable Zafar Habib and placed the services of SP Court Police, Azam Durani under suspension.On the directives of the chief minister, a police party comprising DIG East and policemen of CIA, has been constituted to apprehend Zohaib Qureshi.