Police have yet to complete probe in Farishta case

Updated July 12, 2019

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The capital police have yet to complete their investigation into the abduction and murder of a 10-year-old girl. — AP/File
The capital police have yet to complete their investigation into the abduction and murder of a 10-year-old girl. — AP/File

ISLAMABAD: The capital police have yet to complete their investigation into the abduction and murder of a 10-year-old girl and submit the challan to court even though it has been receiving accolades from the interior minister over the arrest of a suspect.

On June 22, Deputy Inspector General of Police (operations) Waqaruddin Syed accompanied by Superintendent of Police (investigation) Dr Syed Mustafa Tanveer and the then SP Saddar/Rural Malik Naeem at a press conference announced that two teams of the police had arrested a man allegedly involved in the abduction and killing of Farishta. He said the suspect was sent to jail on a judicial remand

“It was a blind case and there was no evidence or eyewitness available. Besides, all the DNA profiling conducted for evidence turned out to be negative,” he had said, adding the man was arrested on the suspicion of the victim’s family.

Police officers on June 22 had announced arrest of a man on suspicion of victim’s family

But despite the arrest, the investigators failed to submit challan to court even after 19 days, a senior police officer said. He added that according to Police Rules and the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), challan should be submitted to court 15 days after registration of a case.

The police could have submitted an interim challan or incomplete challan in a fortnight, the officer said. Besides, the accused should also have been produced in court during and after completion of the judicial custody (a 15-day detention period in jail).

After completion of the judicial remand the accused is again produced in court for another 15 days’ judicial remand if the trial is not started due to failure of the police to complete the challan, said the officer. The girl disappeared from outside of her home on May 15 and the Shahzad Town police registered a report about her disappearance the next day in response to a complaint lodged by her father.

On May 19, the police registered a kidnapping case and the following day (May 20) the decomposed body of the girl was recovered from Tamma village.

When contacted by Dawn, the father of the girl expressed displeasure over the police investigation and said the accused had disappeared and the family was being kept in the dark about the investigation.

“The police took the family to Adiala Jail for identification of the accused but he was not produced in front of them,” he added.

“Police senior officers took us to their events and asked us to praise them in front of the participants,” the father said, adding during a Police Darbar at Police Lines Headquarters the IGP forced him and his son to chant slogans in favour of the police and praise and appreciate the force.

“The police officers also asked us to remain silent and let the police proceedings continue,” he said. When contacted, Shahzad Town Police Station House Officer (SHO) Rana Akram said: “Sorry, I can’t talk right now.”

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammad Amir Zulfiqar Khan was not available for comments.

Personal Staff Officer to the police chief DSP Khalid Awan told Dawn: “IGP has nothing to do with the issue, you better get version from DIG operations as it is in his jurisdiction.”

DIG operations Waqaruddin Syed, when contacted, said the accused was sent to jail for identification parade on June 22, not judicial remand. Later, he was taken into custody on a physical remand for an investigation and remained in police custody for nine days.

Last week, he was sent to judicial remand, the DIG said, adding the investigation was in progress so challan of the case was not submitted.

He said about a week was also required to complete the investigation, adding the investigators were also collecting evidence.

When told that when the investigation was yet to be completed why the police declared the man as an accused, he said investigators were collecting evidence against him.

Interior Minister retired Brig Ijaz Shah on June 27 informed parliament that the culprit in Farishta case had been arrested, adding the lawmakers should appreciate the police and demand an increase in its budget so that the police officials could be rewarded.

Senate Standing Committee on Interior Chairman Rehman Malik on July 8 also appreciated the team of the police for identification and arrest of the culprit. During the committee’s proceeding, he appreciated the investigation officer and asked the Ministry of Interior to announce an award for each member of the police team.

He also directed the IGP that the investigating officer be promoted to the next rank.

In a statement on Thursday, Mr Malik took serious notice of the alleged sexually assault on a four-year old girl who was found unconscious in bushes at Bhara Kahu on Tuesday. He directed the secretary interior to submit a report of the incident.

He expressed dismay over the alarming increase in child abuse cases across the country.

Published in Dawn, July 12th, 2019