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PESHAWAR: In the first ever conviction in a missing person case in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a judicial magistrate on Friday sentenced a police official to three years imprisonment after he was found guilty of taking a person into custody, which led to his enforced disappearance.

Magistrate Zafarullah Mohmand pronounced that the prosecution had proved its case against a Peshawar SHO, Arshad Khan, of Khairur Rehman’s kidnapping and subsequent disappearance.

Soon after conviction, the SHO filed appeal with the court of additional district and sessions judge Kaleem Arshad, who admitted the appeal to the hearing and suspended his conviction under Section 426 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

Magistrate awards three-year detention to Peshawar SHO

The convict was arrested last year on August 29 in the case after his pre-arrest bail was dismissed by the Peshawar district judge.

Later on, he was set free on bail by the Peshawar High Court.

The detainee, Khairur Rehman, was allegedly taken into custody by a police party from his residence situated at Academy Town here on February 9, 2009, and later on the Supreme Court ordered registration of the case following which the FIR was registered at Pishtakhara police station on September 25, 2012.

The case was registered under Section 365 (kidnapping) of Pakistan Penal Code.

The complainant in the case was Saifullah, brother of the detainee, who directly charged the said SHO for kidnapping his brother.

He alleged that they were resident of Bajaur Agency and due to precarious law and order situation his brother, Khairur Rehman, and Sister Khaista Jana, were residing at Academy Town.

The complainant said his brother resided in the upper storey of a rented house whereas an Afghan family resided on the ground floor.

He added that the police party headed by Arshad Khan raided the house and recovered an abducted child from the afghan family.

The complainant said the police also took away his brother and sister and his sister’s two children.

Later on, the woman, Khaista Jana, and her children were freed.

She had recorded her statement with the police and had claimed that while setting her free Arshad had also given her Rs1,000 and also told that after interrogating her brother he would also be released with in next few days.

However, the detainee has been missing since then.

Defence lawyers Mian Abdul Fayyaz and Sikandar Shah said the SHO was falsely implicated in the case and he had no concern with the disappearance of the alleged detainee.

The defendant denied he had raided the house of the detainee.

The lawyers said the witnesses had recorded conflicting statements and even it was not clear from where the detainee was taken into custody as one of the relatives said he was arrested at a mosque.

Lawyer for the complainant Sajeed Afridi said the SHO was directly charged in the case of abducting the detainee. He added that the Supreme Court had also taken notice of this case and the FIR against the SHO was registered on its direction.

Mr Afridi said children of the woman had also identified the SHO and that he had taken the family away.

Meanwhile, before the court of additional district and sessions judge, lawyer Mian Abdul Fayyaz said the trial court had erred in convicting the appellant as the evidence on record did not connect him with the commission of the offence.

He requested the judge to suspend the sentence until the final disposal of the appeal.

Published in Dawn, May 24th, 2014