Intelligence agencies’ help sought to recover ‘kidnapped’ girl

Published April 24, 2022
A screen grab from a video showing 
grief-stricken parents of missing Dua.
A screen grab from a video showing grief-stricken parents of missing Dua.

KARACHI: Police investigators probing into the kidnapping of a teenage girl in Shah Faisal Colony on April 16 have sought technical assistance from intelligence agencies to recover the girl, it emerged on Saturday.

“We are focusing on technical aspects to solve the kidnapping case of 14-year-old Dua Zehra Kazmi,” said Anti-Violent Crime Cell SSP Zubair Nazeer Shaikh.

The officer, tasked by the police authorities to investigate the case, said they had sought assistance from intelligence agencies for their help due to their technological expertise to solve the case.

Besides, the police are also surveying the area and have interrogated several suspicious persons having criminal records or had remained sexual offenders in the past.

The AVCC chief said the Federal Investigation Agency’s Cyber Crime Cell had expertise in accessing social media platforms and it was helping them technologically in this case.

Google, Samsung and online gaming platforms also being approached for assistance

The head of Cyber Crime Reporting Cell, Imran Riaz, tweeted that a four-member team comprising forensic expert, technical analyst, female investigating officer and psychologist visited the house of Dua Zehra.

He added that the FIA had also made an “emergency contact with Google, Samsung and online gaming platforms”.

‘Whatsapp message’

Meanwhile, sources familiar with the investigation said that the family had received a WhatsApp message on their cell phone.

They added that they did not want to discuss what was said in the message because it might make the investigation ‘controversial’ or spoil the case.

Since then, the phone number from which the WhatsApp message had been sent was powered off.

It provided a significant clue to investigators and they were working on it, said the sources.

They added that they had obtained the closed-circuit television camera footage from the area on the second day of the incident in which a young girl was seen. The footage was shown to the family, but they said the girl in the video was not Dua.

However, four days later, the same CCTV footage went viral, which created a sort of uproar and controversy, they added. It prompted the police authorities to take its notice and suspend the SHO of the Al-Falah police station.

The sources said the girl shown in the footage was a showbiz person and not Dua Zehra.

Also, acting on a tip-off the police had conducted a raid in Sanghar and recovered a girl hailed from Lyari. Although there were certain similarities in both the cases, it transpired that the girl from Lyari had left her home of her own free will and got married with a boy from another area.

The investigators also got a copy of her marriage certificate (nikahnama).

Police accused of character assassination

Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader Haleem Adil Sheikh on Saturday alleged that the police were not taking the Dua Zehra case seriously.

“The police’s lack of seriousness in the case is a matter of concern,” he said.

He said the parents were extremely worried about their daughter, but the police were ‘misleading’ them by using different tactics.

He said the police and the provincial government appeared to have failed in recovering the girl.

“Instead of performing their duty, the police are involved in character assassination of the minor girl,” he alleged.

The PTI leader also advised PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari to focus Sindh instead of visiting abroad.

Published in Dawn, April 24th, 2022

Opinion

The sixth wave

The sixth wave

PCR testing has drastically gone down in Pakistan and our disease surveillance system needs much more strengthening.

Editorial

Udaipur killing
Updated 01 Jul, 2022

Udaipur killing

The crime committed in Udaipur did not happen in a vacuum.
Unacceptable demand
Updated 01 Jul, 2022

Unacceptable demand

Negotiating with extremists is tricky; no peace treaty with them has lasted beyond a few months.
Tough times ahead
01 Jul, 2022

Tough times ahead

THE finance ministry’s projection of 15pc inflation, much higher than the targeted rate of 11.5pc, during the new...
More ‘prior actions’
Updated 30 Jun, 2022

More ‘prior actions’

It is crucial that the IMF reconsiders its stance and releases the funds at the earliest to calm uneasy markets.
Growing power crisis
30 Jun, 2022

Growing power crisis

THE country’s escalating power crisis risks exacerbating the law-and-order situation as people take to the streets...
Attack on polio team
30 Jun, 2022

Attack on polio team

THE threat of deadly violence never seems to diminish for health workers and police officials involved in...