RAWALPINDI: Ten years after the Punjab forest department lodged a complaint against Bahria Town, a case was registered on Thursday on charges of kidnapping, illegal detention and occupation of government land.
On October 11, 2005, a senior forest department official, Jamil Ahmed, had lodged a complaint with the police stating that the Bahria Town administration was cutting trees from government land in Loi Bher. According to the FIR, three days later, the Bahria Town administration headed by retired Captain Shahid once again attempted to cut trees and occupy the forest department’s land.
On October 28, the Bahria Town officials brought heavy machinery to cut trees and got into in a scuffle with the forest department staff.
The complainant said after the senior officials of the department arrived at the scene, Bahria Town employees left from the place but leaving behind a machine which was confiscated by the forest department. Later, over 100 Bahria Town employees arrived on the spot, attacked the forest department staff, beat up two of them and kidnapped them.
In the complaint, Mr Ahmed alleged, that the two men were kept in an illegal detention for two hours, after which they escaped. He claimed that the kidnappers also took the National Identity Card of Shabir Ahmed, one of the detainees.
Following the initial complaint, the local police referred the case to the Islamabad police as the alleged crime had taken place in the jurisdiction of the latter.
The issue of the scene of the crime caused a delay in the registration of the case. However, the matter came to the notice of the Supreme Court which summoned the City Police Officer Rawalpindi to explain police inaction.
Malik Mohammad Shafi brought the sluggish attitude of the police to the notice of the apex court which had taken suo motu notice on an application he moved against the encroachment in 2009. His petition had alleged destruction of the forest and illegal and forcible acquisition of about 1,416 acres of land by the Bahria Town in Rakh Takht Pari area in collusion with the revenue officials.
The case was finally registered by the Airport police and a report submitted to the court on Thursday.
Published in Dawn, July 24th, 2015