RAWALPINDI: The deputy prosecutor general of the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) has expressed concern over the slackness of police officials investigating criminal cases registered against the banned Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) workers, especially for not conducting an ‘identification parade’ of the nominated and unidentified suspects.

In a letter to Regional Police Officer (RPO) Rawalpindi Amir Ahmer, the ATC deputy prosecutor general stated that in the FIRs registered against the banned TLP workers, a large number of suspects were unidentified along with the nominated ones. It has been observed that the investigating police officers were not taking steps to conduct the identification parade of the unidentified persons, he added.

The prosecutor explained that the faces of the arrested persons should have been muffled from the time of their arrest till their production in court.

Asks RPO to direct investigating officers to conduct identification parade of suspects

He asked the RPO to direct the IOs to conduct the identification parade of all unidentified suspects because non-fulfilment of this legal procedure could pave the way for the acquittal of the arrested persons.

A senior police investigator said that the identification parade is necessary only when the accused are seen for the first time, and not identified by name. He said the identification parade is carried out after the accused is arrested and sent to jail. The identification parade is carried out inside the jail in the presence of a magistrate and the witness of the incident identifies the accused to make the case foolproof.

The Rawalpindi police had registered 13 FIRs against the TLP workers and arrested 176 of them who had been nominated in the cases.There are also hundreds of suspects who are not identified in the FIRs.

Meanwhile, out of the 58 TLP workers detained by the district administration, 28 have been released after completion of their 14-day detention period while detention of 18 workers has been extended for another 14 days.

According to police sources, 176 people had been arrested by the police after registration of criminal cases against them for their alleged involvement in violent demonstrations while 58 others had been detained for 14 days under Maintenance of Public Order MPO.

Of the 58 detainees, 14 were released on Sunday and 14 others on Monday after the completion of their 14-day detention period.

On the other hand, 50 workers and activists of the banned outfit arrested from different parts of the district were shifted to Jhelum from Adiala jail on Friday as they belonged to the Jhelum district.

Published in Dawn, April 28th, 2021

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