Another sit-in as Sindh govt fails to recover kidnap victims

Published September 12, 2023
DEMONSTRATORS stage a sit-in to protest the government’s failure to recover kidnapped child Sagar Kumar, despite promises, in Clifton on Monday. — Shakil Adil / White Star
DEMONSTRATORS stage a sit-in to protest the government’s failure to recover kidnapped child Sagar Kumar, despite promises, in Clifton on Monday. — Shakil Adil / White Star

KARACHI: The organisers of the Minority Rights and Aurat March held their second protest at Teen Talwar in Clifton on Monday to condemn the failure of the police and the caretaker Sindh cabinet in ensuring the recovery of Sagar Kumar and Priya Kumari.

The two abductees have still not been recovered despite promises made by the Sindh Home Minister retired Brig Haris Nawaz during the earlier protest of Sept 3 by the Minority Rights and Aurat March and thereafter also during a meeting with them on Sept 5.

The protesters said that they had become overjoyed over the recovery of Mukhi Jagdish, Jaideep Kumar and Dr Munir, but at the same time, the utter secrecy on part of the Sindh police pertaining to the facts of their recovery — including but not limited to the method employed to affect their recovery, the locations where the abductees were recovered from, the identities of their abductors, the steps taken to apprehend the abductors — is disconcerting and questionable.

They said that they were appalled by the failure of the Sindh police to act in accordance with the Sindh (Repeal of Police Act, 1861 and Revival of Police Order 2002) (Amendment) Act 2019 and the Criminal Procedure Code 1898 and the settled practice of policing in as much that no FIR had been registered in respect of the abductions of Mukhi Jagdish, Jaideep Kumar, Dr Munir and Sagar Kumar.

The protesters were of the view that whereas no verbatim of Mukhi Jagdish, Jaideep Kumar and Dr Munir had been recorded subsequent to their recovery as otherwise essential in terms of Sections 154, 161 or 164 CrPC, the sheer failure to act in accordance with the law leaves little to no hope for justice and an end to the menace of the notorious bandits of interior Sindh through their arrest and conviction through the courts of law. Such failure emanates legitimate apprehension against the intention of the Sindh police in taking concrete action in accordance with the law against such miscreants.

They also said that even after assuring them on Sept 3 that Sagar Kumar had been recovered, the home minister reverted on his stance on Sept 5. However, he assured Sagar’s recovery within the next 48 hours. It was not only a failed promise, but more so the sudden transfer of SSP Amjad Sheikh, who was reportedly leading the recovery efforts, at this time was disconcerting and lead to legitimate speculation regarding the veracity of the claims made by the home minister.

Thus, the protesters demanded that FIRs must be registered in respect of the abductions of Mukhi Jagdish, Jaideep Kumar, Dr Munir and Sagar Kumar, and a joint investigation team (JIT) of impartial officers must be formed to investigate the abductions and the recovery of the abductees while also investigating the role of the concerned officers in these cases.

They also demanded a JIT to be formed regarding the abduction of Priya Kumari and concrete efforts to ensure her recovery.

They also wanted the home minister to clarify the failure to honour the assurances and commitments made by him regarding the recovery of Sagar Kumar.

Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2023

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