ISLAMABAD, May 3: The Sihala police on Thursday registered a criminal case against eight police officials for spoiling the investigation of a murder that took place in 2008, sources told Dawn.
The case against the eight policemen was registered on the direction of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for tampering with the investigation of the murder of a security guard, the sources added.
The officers booked are: a deputy superintendent of police posted at Police Line Headquarters, two inspectors - one serving as a subdivisional police officer and the other stationed at Rescue-15 - , four sub-inspectors and an assistant sub-inspector now deployed in different police stations of Islamabad.
The sources said they had tampered with and destroyed the evidence and witnesses’ record of the case.
The case against the officials was registered under PPC’s sections 166 (public servant disobeying law), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence or giving false information to screen offender), 217 (public servant disobeying direction of law with intent to save persons from punishment or property from forfeiture), 220 (commitment for trial or confinement by person having authority who knows that he is acting contrary to law), 221 (intentional omission to apprehend on the part of public servant bound to apprehend) and 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property).
Besides, the FIA also directed initiation of departmental action against the three officers who supervised the investigation of the murder case when it was spoiled by the investigators. The officers were: the two deputy superintendents of police - one working as the subdivisional police officer and the other stationed at Crime Investigation Department.
The sources said the direction in writing addressed to the inspector general of police (IGP) was sent to the Central Police Office on Wednesday, asking for reporting back to the FIA by Friday (today).
A police officer on condition of anonymity told Dawn that IGP Bani Amin Khan and SSP Mohammad Yousuf Milk had directed the Superintendent of Police Rural Faisal Bashir Memon to register the case to avoid further action or strict direction from the Supreme Court.
On the direction of the SC issued in February, the FIA is investigating the murder of the security guard, Raja Mohammad Fayyaz, on August 13, 2008, during an armed clash between two builders to occupy a piece of land in the limits of Sihala and the negligence of the police.
Sources in the FIA told Dawn that the apex court had asked the agency to take strict action against the police officers found guilty of criminal negligence. In response, the FIA issued the direction to the police for registration of the case and a departmental inquiry.
The FIA sources also said the agency could have registered a criminal case against the police officials on its own but it asked the police high-up to do that in order to save its skin.
The sources close to the case said it was impossible to trace the killer and what had actually happened on the night of August 13, 2008, when the guard was killed and three other persons injured.
The widow of the victim got blood money paid by the building tycoon Malik Riaz and the matter was settled on a compromise, they said, adding she was not ready to record her statement despite being approached several times. Besides, no one is available as a witness against the accused.
Earlier, separate inquiries conducted by the SSP Malik and Assistant Inspector General of Police Sultan Azam Tamuri had suggested departmental action against the officers.
The inquiry conducted by the SSP found guilty inspectors Arshad Mehmood, Younus Gujjar, Sub-Inspectors Ahmed Kamal, Mohammad Waheed and Assistant Sub-Inspector Ghulam Mustafa of conducting wrong investigation.
After the inquiry report, SI Ahmad Kamal and ASI Ghulam Mustafa were dismissed from service while inspectors Arshad Mehmood, Younus Gujjar and SI Mohammad Waheed were demoted.
Another inquiry, conducted by the AIG against the supervisory officers of the Sihala police station, found six subdivisional police officers guilty. After the inquiry report, the Central Police Office wrote to interior ministry recommending action against the DSPs.
The SC ordered an inquiry on October, 26, 2008, when the victim’s wife - Shamraiza Bibi - during hearing of a suo motu case alleged that her husband was murdered by the builder.
The SC asked the then district and sessions judge Islamabad Mazhar Hussain Minhas to conduct an inquiry, during which the victim’s widow reiterated her allegation recorded with the investigating officer under the orders of the apex court.
She further stated that about a month after the death of her husband, she was called to the office of the building tycoon and told that a compensation of Rs6 million had been paid to them; therefore, she should not talk about the case further.
The inquiry also established that Islamabad police, particularly Sihala police, were under the influence and control of the building tycoon.