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PESHAWAR, Jan 15: The Peshawar High Court on Thursday directed the provincial capital’s police to thoroughly investigate the cases of the dumping of bodies in gunnysacks in the city and other areas and observed that if they were terrified, the court would provide them with protection.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan and Justice Irshad Qaiser observed that killing people and dumping their bodies in sacks was a shameful act, which had been creating anarchy in the society.

It added that under the law, police were responsible for tracing the people behind the heinous crime.

The bench also took notice of the dumping of the body of a missing person, Arif Shah, and directed the deputy inspector general of police (investigation) to constitute a high-level team for probing who had taken him away and under what circumstances he was killed.

It issued directions for the production of the investigation report with the registrar of the high court within a month and adjourned the hearing into the case to Feb 20.

The bench was hearing the case related to dumping of bodies.

Senior superintendent of police (investigation) Asif Zafar Cheema said in accordance with the order of the high court, police had formed investigation teams headed by deputy superintendents of police for probing the matter.

He said in one of the cases they traced some clues, while in other cases, they expected to trace the culprits.

He added that police had been facing problems in the investigation due to non-cooperation by the legal heirs of the slain persons.

The human rights cell of the high court had referred the matter to the chief justice in Aug this year after newspapers reported that 26 bodies mostly stuffed in gunnysacks were dumped in Peshawar. Later, several more bodies were dumped in different areas of the city.

It merits mentioning here that a petition regarding the alleged enforced disappearance of Arif Shah has been pending with the court for many months.

In a petition, Kabul Badshah, a resident of Hangu district, alleged that his brother, Arif Shah, went missing on Feb 13, 2010 on return from Qatar, where he was employed.

He suspected that the detainee was in the custody of law-enforcement agencies.The bench was informed that the body of Arif Shah was dumped on the outskirts of Peshawar on Aug 15, 2012, and an FIR was registered in that regard.

Meanwhile, the bench adjourned hearing of around 160 habeas corpus petitions related to missing persons to Jan 22 after deputy attorney general Muzamil Khan sought more time for production of another list of detainees to be shifted to notified internment centres. He added that the said list was being compiled.

Also, Mr Muzamil said arrangements for setting up an internment centre at Kohat Prison were underway.

The bench disposed of one of the petitions related to disappearance of Fazal Khaliq after learning about his release by captors.

Fazal Khaliq was allegedly taken into custody by law-enforcement agencies on Sept 16, 2012, in Surezai area of Peshawar.