LAHORE: The Defence police have lodged a criminal case against a serving superintendent of police (SP), two station house officers (SHOs) and other policemen for allegedly kidnapping a private company’s chief operating officer, his brother-in-law and a friend at gunpoint, subjecting them to severe torture and snatching cash, mobile phones and other valuables from them.

The FIR was registered on the complaint of Sajjad Nadeem Hashmi against SP Hafeezur Rehman Bugti, two SHOs serving in Lahore, Wajihul Hassan and Imran Khan, ASIs Asad Maqbool, Tafheem Mehdi, Naeem Sadiq, Head Constable Khalid Naveed and 12 other armed policemen.

The complainant also accused the SP of developing relations with his (Mr Hashmi’s) wife and illegally occupying his valuable house in Lahore Defence Housing Authority (DHA).

According to the FIR, on April 18, 2002 a police team comprising the suspects forcibly entered the office of Hashmi’s friend Sohail Zafar in DHA Phase VI in Lahore.

The alleged incident had occurred in 2002 in DHA

The armed intruders allegedly hurled life threats and subjected the complainant and others present in the office to severe torture and snatched four mobile phones, original CNIC, ATM cards, important documents and Rs18,000 from Hashmi. The police officials also snatched Hashmi’s friend’s mobile phone, ATM cards, his laptop, and important office documents, besides cash Rs 60,000, the FIR says.

Later, the policemen blindfolded Hashmi and his friend, bundled them into a police van and took them to an undisclosed place, the FIR adds. Hashmi says the armed policemen also treated his brother-in-law Shaukat Ali in the same fashion and took him in illegal custody.

He alleged in the FIR that they were kidnapped at the behest of SP Hafeez Bugti.

He said the policemen subjected them to torture for around six hours and sent video clips of the torture to the SP.

Narrating his plight, the complainant said that he had moved a complaint against SP Hafeezur Rehman Bugti, seeking departmental action against him for allegedly developing relations with his wife and illegally occupying his house in the DHA.

During departmental inquiries, he said, the allegations against the SP proved true and Bugti was handed down various punishments.

To avenge this, he said, the police officer took extreme and illegal action against him, his brother-in-law and friend.

The Punjab government had referred a case to the Establishment Division, Islamabad, in 2022 on the recommendations of the then inspector general of police (IGP) for initiation of a departmental inquiry against SP Bugti on various charges, including misuse of authority and misconduct.

Bugti was serving in Lahore as divisional SP and was later transferred to Karachi. The inquiries suggested that the SP, despite his transfer, controlled the Lahore police and allegedly got Hashmi and others kidnapped to teach him a lesson.

While referring the case to the Establishment Division, the then IG had declared that the police officer (Bugti) had brought a bad name to the department.

Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2024

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