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KARACHI: Three police officials involved in the wrongful detention of as many persons at the Anti-Violent Crime Cell (AVCC) obtained bail on Thursday.

Police had arrested deputy superintendent of police Tasdeeq Waris, AVCC SHO Chaudhry Irshad Jatt and sub-inspector Younus Jatt on Wednesday after a judicial magistrate raided the AVCC office at police headquarters in Garden and found three citizens — Khalil Ahmed, his brother Mohammad Ahmed and Faizan Attari — detained without any charge.

Following the recovery, police high-ups ordered a case against the officials of AVCC, a special investigation unit that deals with the cases of kidnappings for ransom, which was lodged on the complaint of an official of the Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) at the Nabi Bux police station.

The investigating officer produced the detained police officials before a judicial magistrate (South) and the court granted them bail against a surety bond of Rs30,000 each since the offence was bailable (carrying punishment less than three years).

The magistrate directed the IO to complete the investigation and submit the report as required under Section 173 of the CrPC by Oct 25.

The case was lodged under Sections 342 (punishment for wrongful detention) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

On Wednesday, Nabeel Ahmed moved a habeas corpus application under Section 491 of the CrPC before the district and sessions court (South) and contended that one Mohammad Islam had a business dispute with his uncle Khalid Jamal.

He further submitted that on Oct 7, AVCC SHO raided his house in Korangi and forcibly took him to the police station at the behest of Mr Islam.

The applicant maintained that the police officials released him after receiving Rs300,000, but they again conducted a raid on Oct 11 and took away his three relatives and also demanded a bribe to set them free.

He requested the court for the recovery of detainees kept at the AVCC police station under wrongful detention.

The district and sessions judge appointed the magistrate as raid commissioner and directed him to recover the detainees.

Some police officials had been booked in a case of kidnapping for ransom a few days ago when a judicial magistrate raided Ferozabad police station and recovered a captive.

IG takes notice

IG A.D. Khowaja taking serious notice of the disturbing trend of illegal detention being carried out by police’s specialised units to extract money from citizens has directed all commanding officers of the city to conduct frequent visits of police stations so that the issue of illegal detention would immediately be checked.

He asked commanding officers to ensure that those responsible would be punished severely to become an example for others.

Moreover, the IG directed DIG East Zone and DIG CIA to initiate disciplinary action against officials of Ferozabad police station and officials of AVCC, respectively, involved in illegal detentions.

The AIGP Establishment was also directed to inform the IGP Sindh of follow-up action taken by the units after 15 days.

Published in Dawn, October 13th, 2017