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Probe finds 2 groups guilty of extortion

December 17, 2013

ISLAMABAD: A joint investigation team (JIT) probing into allegations of extorting money from the vendors of the vegetable market has held two groups involved in the crime, it has been learnt.

Sources said the JIT submitted its report to Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on Friday.

On the complaint of some of the traders, the police had registered a case against armed groups on the charge of receiving extortion from the vendors.

The case was registered under the anti-terrorism act in September this year.

The sources said Misal Khan alias Marhal, Qari Khalid and constable Sarfaraz had been nominated in the FIR. However, they proceeded to Saudi Arabia to perform Haj.

After returning from Haj, the accused obtained pre-arrest bail from a local court.

But they appeared before the JIT and confessed to their affiliation with Siddiq group accused of receiving extortion in the market.

The sources said the link of the accused with the group of three siblings — Safdar Siddiq, Amjad Siddiq and Tariq Siddiq — was also established with the help of mobile phone call data.

During investigation, it was revealed that the three persons had gone to Haj after getting air tickets from a travelling agency owned by Amjad Siddiq.

Besides, scores of vendors also submitted affidavits to the JIT stating that the accused had been collecting extortion at gunpoint.

The JIT also stated that Misal Khan and Qari Khalid acted as supervisors of 14 persons who impersonated themselves as watchmen and collected extortion.

Besides, two other men, Nadir Khan and Nasir Khan, also collected extortion for the Siddiq group.

The Siddiq brothers were jailed in September and later released after the Anti-Terrorism Court granted them bail on November 25.

A few months back, Safdar Siddiq approached IGP Sikandar Hayat and claimed that he had been implicated in a false case.

Besides, he added, the police also booked him under the anti-terrorism charge after he disclosed the presence of a gang of armed men in the vegetable market who received extortion in connivance with the police.

In response, the IGP ordered an inquiry which showed that there was no evidence against Safdar Siddiq and his brother.

The JIT stated that an Afghan gang, led by Amanullah alias Sheno, along with his brothers and 15 other countrymen, was also active in the market.

Sheno had formed the gang of extortionists to occupy the Sabzi Mandi.