Usman Dar’s brother in Sialkot police custody, LHC told

Published January 9, 2024
A file photo of former PTI leader Usman Dar (L) with his brother Umar Dar. — Picture via Usman Dar/Facebook
A file photo of former PTI leader Usman Dar (L) with his brother Umar Dar. — Picture via Usman Dar/Facebook

The Punjab government told the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday that Umar Dar, the brother of former PTI leader Usman Dar, was currently in the custody of Sialkot police.

The development came as the court took up a petition filed by Usman against the alleged illegal detention of his brother by law enforcement agencies.

On Dec 30, the PTI had claimed that Umar had been abducted in Lahore. Subsequently, the LHC had directed police to recover him within 24 hours. Last week, the LHC rejected as dissatisfactory a report by the Punjab police denying the arrest or custody of Umar.

The next day, it directed Punjab Inspector General Dr Usman Anwar to file a fresh report in light of CCTV footage of the alleged abduction.

It should be noted that in December, the Dar brothers’ mother Rehana had accused PML-N stalwart Khawaja Asif and the police of raiding their Sialkot home and manhandling her. Asif and Sialkot police had denied the claim.

Justice Ali Baqar Najafi presided over today’s hearing, which was attended by Rehana and Umar’s daughter.

Punjab Additional Advocate General Ghulam Sarwar Nihan appeared as the provincial government’s lawyer while Abuzar Salman Niazi was Umar’s counsel.

During the hearing, Nihan told the court, “Umar Dar is in police custody.”

“He was arrested on January 8 from Gujrat,” the counsel claimed, adding that he was in Sialkot police custody at the Cantt police station.

The provincial counsel further said Umar had been nominated in two first information reports, which Niazi told Dawn.com were related to the violent riots of May 9 that followed ex-premier Imran Khan’s arrest.

 Rehana Dar speaks at LHC on Jan 9. — Photo via author
Rehana Dar speaks at LHC on Jan 9. — Photo via author

The lawyer said the Punjab police arrested Naizi and then transferred his custody to the Sialkot investigation police.

On the occasion, Umar’s mother thanked Justice Najafi, saying he had made a “just decision”.

Following the hearing, Niazi said his client had been “located”.

In a post on social media platform X, he said, “Finally Punjab police has admitted before LHC Justice Baqar Najfi that Umar Dar is in custody of Sialkot police related to first information report in Cantt Police Station, Sialkot.

“Now his remand will be contested and post-arrest bail will be filed,” the lawyer added.

Usman Dar’s mother allowed to contest polls

Separately, the LHC’s election appellate tribunal accepted Rehana’s appeal against the rejection of her nomination papers from NA-71 (Sialkot-II) constituency.

In a post on X, Niazi confirmed that she was now allowed to contest the upcoming Feb 8 general elections.

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