LARKANA: The man who, according to police, confessed to have killed his eight-year-old daughter by throwing her into Indus river, was on Monday remanded in police custody for three days.

Naveed Khuhawar was produced before the fifth civil judge and judicial magistrate of Larkana with his alleged confessional statement. However, the suspect claimed that police extracted the statement by subjecting him to torture in custody.

Khuhawar had been holding protests regularly since October 12 after reporting the disappearance of his daughter, Naveela, 8, after she had left her home in Daya Street of Allahabad mohalla.

The police had registered an FIR at the Allahabad police station against unknown suspects and had been continuing their probe as well as search for the missing girl, but could not find any clue. On a petition filed by the aggrieved father, the chief justice of Sindh High Court on March 22 sought a report from the Larkana SSP and the investigation officer of the case regarding progress of the investigation.

Suspect disowns his ‘confessional statement’ filed by police in court

During the process, police investigators extensively interrogated the complainant, Naveed Khuhawar, and detained him. On Sunday (April 9), the investigators came out with the claim that the complainant himself had thrown his daughter into the river and had been staging the drama of her disappearance to save himself from being arrested and prosecuted.

According to police sources, when he was interrogated, Khuhawar confessed to having committed the crime.

Larkana SSP Dr Mohammed Imran Khan on Sunday said that Khuhawar had reported his daughter Naveela’s disappearance to the police on October 12. He said he (the SSP), during the course of investigation, constituted a committee headed by the Civil Lines DSP, with the SHOs of the Allahabad and Rehmatpur police stations being its other members, to hold a thorough probe into the FIR (No. 25/2022) registered on behalf of state under Section 364 PPC.

The Larkana police also issued a press release on Sunday revealing contents of Khuhawar’s alleged confessional statement recorded during his custody. It claimed: “Naveed Khuhawar confessed to have committed the crime. Later, to save himself he concocted a story that his daughter had gone missing”.

Citing the confessional statement, the police claimed that Khuhawar threw Naveela into River Indus from the Larkana-Khairpur bridge. They quoted him as stating that Naveela was born to his first wife, who left him along with their son, Mohammad Hassan, over certain disagreements and a tense relationship. His second wife was unhappy over his decision to keep Naveela with him at their home and this dispute was poisoning the couple’s relationship. In order to resolve the issue, Khuhawar finally decided to get rid of Naveela, the police mentioned in his alleged confessional statement.

The police investigators had so far failed to locate Naveela or recover her body.

Meanwhile, Khuhawar’s counsel Advocate Abdul Rauf Korai, speaking to Dawn on Monday said that Naveed Khuhawar, recording his statement before the civil judge earlier in the day, refuted the police claim about his confessional statement.

He stated that the police extracted his confessional statement by subjecting him to torture in custody, the counsel said.

Khuhawar would be produced again in the court on April 13, he added.

Published in Dawn, April 11th, 2023

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