RAWALPINDI, July 26: Police finally arrested Taji Khokhar in the murder case of a woman on Friday night.
However, his two sons, who are also nominated in the case, have not yet been taken into custody.
A large number of Elite Force commandoes and police personnel led by SP Punjab Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) Rana Shahid surrounded the ‘Khokhar House’ at Dhoke Gangal on Friday night. The police officers held a meeting with Taji Khokhar for more than one hour and reportedly convinced him to surrender to the police.
It may be noted that on Wednesday, Inspector Aziz Aslam Niazi, the SHO of Airport police, who was also the investigating officer of the murder case, in his report to an anti-terrorism court (ATC) declared Taji Khokhar and his sons innocent. However, the next day the SHO was arrested for allegedly tampering with the case file and giving a clean chit to the accused even though a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) had already declared the Khokhars along with scores of other people guilty of committing the murder.
Taji Khokhar, the younger brother of Nawaz Khokhar, a former speaker of the National Assembly, had a land dispute with Sabira Bibi. A one-man commission of Raja Samiul Haq Satti Advocated was formed by a local court to resolve the matter. When the commission invited the woman to the disputed land at Dhoke Gangal near Islamabad Expressway to record her statement on August 17, 2012, she was gunned down by gunmen. Mohammad Yaqub, the husband of the woman, in his complaint to the Airport police alleged that Taji Khokhar and his two sons opened fire on his wife killing her on the spot.
Regional Police Officer (RPO) Naseem-uz-Zaman on Friday chaired a meeting attended by City Police Officer Israr Ahmed Abbasi, SP Potohar Division Haroon Joiya, SP CTD Rana Shahid and legal experts of the police department. The meeting decided to arrest Taji Khokhar and his two sons.
When the city police officer (CPO) was contacted, he said the ATC had not confirmed Taji Khokhar’s bail as it was the SHO who declared him innocent.
“The IO’s move was illegal as whenever a JIT constituted by the home department declares an accused guilty of a crime, the IO cannot declare him innocent,” he added. He said the legal experts were also of the view that Taji Khokhar was still an accused in the murder case and the police could arrest him.
“We asked Taji Khokhar to surrender to the police and face the murder case in the court,” Mr Abbasi added. He said all the police officials who had been declared guilty by the JIT would also be arrested. SP Rana Shahid said the two sons of Taji Khokhars would be arrested later.
On part of the investigation by Anti-Corruption Establishment, a team led by deputy director Sajid Sadique Qureshi and assisted by inspectors Ikramullah Niazi and Mohammad Riaz has been constituted to investigate the arrested SHO for declaring the accused innocent.
He was remanded in the police custody for four days by special judge (central) Sohail Nasir on Thursday.