KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Thursday summoned the director of the Federal Investigation Agency, Sindh, with the relevant record on Dec 20 on a petition seeking the whereabouts of around 20 missing children.
The two-judge SHC bench, headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto, hearing a number of cases of missing persons, expressed displeasure with the FIA for its officials’ absence. A notice was issued at the last hearing to the investigating agency after a question was raised about the possibility of use of these children in human trafficking.
The bench also came down hard on police when they informed the court that one of the missing girls had been recovered in Korangi on Nov 19, but the suspect could not be arrested.
Chides police for their inability to arrest suspected kidnapper of a recovered girl
Justice Phulpoto observed that it was a failure of the police and if the police had caught the suspect, he might have provided information which could help the police recover the remaining 19 children.
It again ordered CIA DIG Amin Yusufzai, who is heading a committee, to make efforts for the recovery of the missing children, to use modern devices for the purpose and show progress at the next hearing.
The parents of missing children were also present during the hearing, but they appeared to be very disturbed, it added and also directed the DIG to arrest the suspect involved in the abduction of the recovered girl and produce him before court.
Warning to IGP
“We also direct the inspector general of the Sindh police to look into the matter personally, else he will appear on the next date,” the bench warned the provincial police officer.
At the outset of the hearing, the DIG submitted a progress report and said that a missing girl was recovered from a park in Korangi No. 5 on Nov 19 and after completing the legal formalities the minor girl was handed over to her parents. He added that efforts were being made to locate the remaining children.
He further said that despite a remainder, the response from the FIA about the provision of information about human trafficking was still awaited.
In the previous hearing, the bench had issued a notice to the FIA and also directed it to assist the police in locating the children after the bench raised the question about the possible use of children in human trafficking.
On a directive of the SHC, the police had registered 23 FIRs regarding missing children at the Awami Colony, North Nazimabad, Nazimabad, Ferozabad, Saudabad, Docks, Preedy, Boat Basin, Quaidabad, Gulshan-i-Iqbal, New Karachi Industrial Area and Korangi police stations. Later, three of the children returned home while the fourth one was recovered last month.
A petition was filed by Roshni Research and Development Welfare in 2012 seeking court directives to the provincial police for considering the missing children cases, who went missing in different parts of Karachi, a cognizable offence and registering FIRs in that regard.
The NGO alleged that cases of missing children were not properly investigated by the police which resulted in many preventable deaths.
Meanwhile, the same bench also heard several identical petitions of missing persons, referred some of them to the Karachi police chief to personally look into them and expressed dissatisfaction on the progress reports filed by the investigation officers.
Published in Dawn, December 7th, 2018