GUJRAT: Local police have been accused of illegally arresting a man and his nephew, both residents of Sargodha, at the behest of a politically influential figure, who allegedly wants to pressurise them into settling a monetary dispute with him.
The alleged victims, Khizer Hayat and Kazim Hussain, residents of Jaan Muhammad Wala village of Kot Momin Tehsil, Sargodha district, filed a petition with Gujrat district and session judge on December 2 the last, stating they are in litigation over a monetary dispute with a former union council chairman, Azam Warraich, of PML-Q and Mazhar Hussain, a resident of Jamu Bhola village of Gujrat district.
They said that a team of Mungowal police station of Gujrat district had picked them up from Sargodha on November 26 the last and instead of taking them to a police station, kept them in illegal detention in a rice mills owned by Azam and Mazhar, near Mungowal.
The petitioners alleged that while in illegal detention they were pressurised by police to settle the issue with the ex-UC chairman.
They said that on November 27, the Mungowal police lodged a “fabricated” case against them under sections 406 and 34 of the PPC on the report of Mazhar Hussain.
However, they said, when the police produced them in the court of area magistrate Muhammad Asif, seeking their physical remand, the court ordered their immediate release, besides quashing the case.
The petitioner said that instead of obeying the court order, the police again arrested them in the courtroom and took them to Jalalpur Jattan Sadar police station.
At the police station, they said, the police called one Mirza Shahid Rasheed of Shahjahania village, a complainant of a robbery incident occurring around 25 days ago, who falsely identified them as suspects. On the complaint of Mirza Shahid, the police registered a “fabricated” case against Khizer and Kazim.
The next day, the police produced the man and his nephew in the court of Magistrate Faisal Abbas and got their two-day physical remand for interrogation in connection with the robbery case.
The petitioners said they had been languishing in Gujrat district Jail and urged the district and session judge to take notice of their plight.
They also requested the judge to order presentation of the footage of the CCTV camera from the court of Magistrate Asif to confirm their “illegal” arrest in the courtroom. The district and session judge fixed December 5 as date of hearing into the case.
A relative of the petitioners told Dawn that they had also lodged complaints with the Punjab chief minister’s office and IG’s portal, but to no avail.
A senior official of Gujrat police claimed that the petitioners were genuinely guilty of not paying money they owed to the complainant, Mazhar.
Published in Dawn, December 4th, 2023