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RAWALPINDI: The inspector general of police (IGP) Punjab has directed divisional police chiefs across the province to ensure the registration of FIRs in all missing persons’ cases and constitute joint investigation teams (JIT) to probe the cases.

According to sources, the IGP directed the police to implement the directives of the Commission of the Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances in letter and spirit.

The FIR should be registered as per the content of the applications and a copy should be sent to the Punjab Home Department and the Commission of the Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances.

The IGP warned that if any complaint regarding the non-registration of FIRs in missing persons’ cases was received, strict action will be taken against the responsible police official.

He said all efforts should be made to track down missing persons and that JIT meetings should be convened to discuss progress in such cases.

The directives were given to all regional police officials and district police chiefs.

When contacted, chairperson of the Defence of Human Rights Pakistan, Amina Masood Janjua said the registration of FIRs in missing persons’ cases is a serious issue as the police are always reluctant to do so and try their best to avoid the registration of cases.

“Sometimes, we have to stage sit-ins to force the police to register an FIR in larger cities. The situation is more concerning in the smaller districts where the police are even more reluctant,” she said.

When FIRs are registered, the contents of the applications are changed and instead of writing the suspects’ name, they just write that the victim was taken by unidentified persons, she said.

Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2018