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Chishti’s gunmen say husband of Sonia was arrested

September 07, 2005

FAISALABAD, Sept 6: Two gunmen of Jamshed Iqbal Chishti, the suspended inspector facing trial on the allegation of Sonia Naz’s rape, on Tuesday confessed before the one-man tribunal that Asim Yousaf was in the police custody and also appeared before SP (Investigation) Abdullah Khalid Warraich.

District and Sessions Judge Abdul Waheed Khan is heading the tribunal, which is probing allegations of rape Ms Naz had levelled against two police officials, and the original motor registration scandal.

Both constables Iqbal Fareed and Noor Ahmad recorded their separate statements in which they claimed that Excise and Taxation Department clerk Asim Yousaf, the husband of Sonia, was in the police custody and was quizzed.

They further claimed that SP Abdullah was cognizant of the custody of Asim, who had assured the investigation team that he would provide information and evidence to the motor registration scandal. They said they had taken Asim to Samanabad for his meeting with his mother on the orders of senior police officers from where he managed to escape.

The police had no record of the arrest and confinement of Asim due to which no action could be taken against any of the officials, they said.

Another witness, excise inspector Abdul Rehman Chattha, claimed that after a fortnight of the registration of a fraud case against excise officials on the charge of bogus registration books, a team of plainclothes men visited the department offices along with handcuffed Asim.

DSP Chaudhry Mushtaq Ahmad said he was the main investigator of the scandal and tried his best to arrest the accused. Some of the nominated people were rounded up while others remained at large. During the preliminary interrogation, he was transferred from the investigation cell and was posted People’s Colony DSP.

Inspector Haq Nawaz, who is investigating the scandal, also claimed to have conducted interrogation. He stated that the police team took into custody 221 files of registration of various vehicles out of which 98 were proved bogus and 49 cases were registered against different people, including the excise officials.

After this development, he was transferred from the investigation cell and asked to report in the Police Lines. SI Muhammad Akram, another interrogation officer, told the tribunal that he probed the case for a brief period as he, too, was transferred.

According to DSP (City) Malik Rasheed, he was assigned the task to inform Sonia Naz about the inquiry proceedings of the tribunal and he met Sonia and her lawyers in Lahore for the services of summons.

Muhammad Nadeem Ansari, a major complainant of the scandal, said he brought the fraud into the notice of DSP Chaudhry Mushtaq Ahmad. On his complaint, a case was registered and the police conducted interrogation.

Earlier, a panel of counsel for Sonia Naz, headed by District Bar Association President Saleem Jehangir Chattha, moved an application before the tribunal seeking adjournment of its proceedings because they had already moved the Supreme Court.

The tribunal observed that it had not received any restrained orders from any competent court or the apex court. The tribunal’s judgement, he said, would rather facilitate the apex court in reaching the right conclusion.

The lawyers also submitted an application with the tribunal in which the victim had expressed her inability to appear before it and also showed her no-confidence on the tribunal which, she contended, had been constituted to sweep the matter under the carpet.

The tribunal refused to entertain Sonia’s application and observed that it would be made record of the tribunal if the same was moved personally by her.

Reacting to it, Sonia’s counsel boycotted the proceedings by calling the judge’s attitude harsh.

The tribunal adjourned the matter till 11am on Wednesday (today).

DBA: Meanwhile, the DBA executive committee at its emergent meeting expressed resentment over the tribunal proceedings and described those against the judicial norms, law and practice.

In a resolution, the DBA said in the wake of no-confidence expressed by Sonia Naz in the media as well as written application, the tribunal should stop its proceedings and the government re-constitute a new tribunal.

Since the abduction and rape incident was occurred in the Sattukatla police area of Lahore, the government should constitute the tribunal in Lahore instead of Faisalabad, the resolution noted.