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”.
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