KARACHI, Aug 21: The Sindh High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the home secretary, provincial police chief and other officials of the Thatta police in a petition against them for harassing pro-Shirazi villagers in the district on the instigation of Owais Muzaffar aka Tappi, the provincial local government minister.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Aftab Ahmed Gorar also extended till the next hearing an earlier ad-interim order restraining the police from taking any coercive action against the petitioners and registering any fresh case against them without prior permission of the court.
The court also issued notices to the advocate general and the prosecutor general of Sindh and directed the office to announce the next date of hearing.
The petition was filed by five residents of Thatta district — Munawwar Ali, Ghulam Nabi Bhabhar, Muhammad Khan, Haji Hussain Baran and Syed Manzoor Ali Shah — stating that their lives and livelihood were at stake at the hands of the LG minister and the respondent police officials.
The petitioners, represented by Advocate Wahab Baloch, said that they along with thousands of others villagers were continuously compelled to be confined to their houses along with their families due to harassment by police on the instigation of Mr Muzaffar, said to be the foster brother of President Asif Ali Zardari, as they had supported the candidates of the Shirazi family in the last general election.
They said that they could not even come out of their houses to leave for the city to get medical treatment as the minister had taken control of their areas and the respondent police officials, including Thatta SSP Haseeb Afzal Baig, were doing illegal acts under his instigation.
The petitioners also enclosed a list of other affected people of the district.
They said that the area people were incurring huge financial losses as they were unable to look after their cultivated lands and crops as they were forced to leave their houses due to continuous police raids.
The petitioners also submitted the details of as many as 15 cases lodged against them.
They said that the police officials were still raiding their houses and the supporters of the Shirazi family and harassing womenfolk and children.
The petitioners also submitted that two villagers were allegedly kidnapped by the Thatta police who were not disclosing their whereabouts.
They asked the court to restrain the police from harassing them.
They also requested the court to restrain the Thatta police from implicating and booking them in false cases.