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Navy denies stand off with police

August 10, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Aug 10: Two dozen Navy personnel, in uniform and bearing arms, stormed Shahzad Town police station last night to force it to register a complaint but left when the police assembled counter force, police sources said on Friday.

A petty quarrel between a brother of Navy’s Chief Provost officer Syed Ibrar Shah and a citizen lay behind the alarming incident, according to SHO Tanveer Abbasi of the station.

Inspector Abbasi told Dawn that details of the incident, as noted in the station’s Daily Diary, were reported to senior officers of police “for action”.

Other police sources said ISI and the Military Intelligence were informed about the rowdyism by the raiders on phone.

Pakistan Navy’s spokesman Commodore Irfanul Haq said “the story is fabricated”.

“Two naval officers went to the police station but in their private capacity and the Navy had nothing to do with it. During their stay there the officers did not take law in their hands,” he said.

He denied that the other officer allegedly involved in the incident, Lt Commander Imtiyaz, was in-charge of the security detail of the naval chief.

Police sources claimed Navy’s strongmen descended on the police station on the call of officer Shah when it refused to oblige his brother and PTV cameraman, Syed Iftikhar Shah, to register his complaint against citizen Nisar over a car parking dispute.

SHO Abbasi said a squad of naval security men arrived at his station as Iftikhar and Nisar were being interviewed about the petty dispute.

The squad leader introduced himself as Lt Cmdr Imtiyaz, security in-charge of the Naval chief.

His men allegedly drew their weapons at DSP Arshad Khokhar and SHO Abbasi, beat up ASI Qazi Zia and Nisar Hussain badly, and smashed the station’s furniture and windowpanes.

Frantic calls by the besieged policemen to their superiors made SP Rural Circle Faisal Bashir Memon to rush reinforcements. As they took positions around the station, the naval strongmen were told to leave or face a confrontation. They chose to leave.After the raiders had left, Nisar registered FIR against Iftikhar Shah. Police said the navy personnel could not be nominated in it as that required prior permission from the navy.

Police claimed Iftikhar had approached the police station earlier in the week to register a complaint against Nisar. But the police preferred to inquire first and came to know that Iftikhar was annoyed with Nisar parking his car in front of his rented house in Rawal Town.

Nisar had gone there to demand the return of Rs500,000 that the landlord of the house, Raja Zulfikar owed to him. Zulfikar is said to have sought Iftikhar’s help in fending off Nisar. The parking dispute was believed to be a ruse.

When police hesitated in registering his complaint against Nisar, Iftikhar reportedly exerted pressure through his brother Ibrar Shah, the chief provost officer of Navy.

Iftikhar and Nisar were called to the police station to resolve the petty parking dispute. But the former’s naval connections allegedly turned the affair into an ugly situation.