PESHAWAR: A local court on Saturday granted bail to four people, including a woman, charged with abducting and torturing a Sikh young man.
Judicial magistrate Sanaullah Khan accepted the bail petition of the suspects, including Shaleem Masih, his wife Manmeet Kor, Iven Bhatti and Rohit Singh, after the completion of arguments by both sides.
Sikh youngster Avenash Singh had gone missing on Mar 27 from Peshawar cantonment area of Gulberg.
An FIR was registered at the Gulberg police station by Avenash’s brother, Parvendar Singh.
Initially, the complainant had not charged anyone in his complaint but later, he named four suspects for the abduction of his brother.
Avenash had remained missing for two months and on May 29 the four suspects were arrested after their pre-arrest bail was turned down by a local court. The same day Avenash was found lying near a police station in Kohat in injured condition.
Their counsel claim Avenash staged own abduction
Few days before his recovery, the issue of his disappearance was raised in the provincial assembly by minority MPA Ranjeet Singh.
There followed the formation of a special team of the police to probe the matter.
Woman suspect Manmeet Kor is a former journalist and has a few days old suckling baby. Three of the suspects claimed that they belonged to Sikh community, while the fourth , Shaleem, is a Christian.
Lawyer Nauman Muhib Kakakhel appeared for the petitioners and said the charges against his clients were baseless as Avenash had staged his abduction.
He argued that there was no evidence on record against the petitioners other than the ‘story concocted’ by the complainant.
The lawyer argued that both parties held previous disputes and there were various cases pending with other courts of the law.
He contended that Avenash was found in Kohat on the day the petitioners were behind bars and that there was no information about who freed him and how.
The counsel said as Avenash was found in injured condition, he was taken to the hospital by the local police for medical examination.
He added that the young man’s medical examination clearly showed that the injuries were self-inflicted and were on the body parts, which his hands could reach easily.
The lawyer contended that Avenash had gone missing on Mar 27 but he was seen the next day at a family’s place in Gulberg area along with his brother and that was confirmed by the call data record of his mobile phone.
Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2021