PESHAWAR, April 25: The Peshawar High Court was informed on Thursday that around a dozen ‘missing persons’ were sent to notified internment centres in the province and 13 freed lately.
The information was shared by deputy attorney general Muzamil Khan with a bench comprising Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan and Justice Roohul Amin Khan during the hearing into around 350 habeas corpus petitions filed by relatives of missing persons.The bench directed the federal government to expedite the process of shifting detainees to internment centres.
It also asked DAG to contact the interior and defence ministries for checking with Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI) if the said detainees were in their custody.
DAG was also told to seek explanation from the agencies in case any of the missing persons were found in their unlawful detention.
The hearing was later adjourned to May 29.
At the very outset of the proceedings, DAG produced a list of detainees recently shifted to internment centres and said four detainees were shifted to Pak-Austrian Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management in Swat, three to Lakki Marwat, two to Landi Kotal in Khyber Agency and one each to Kohat, Ghalanai in Mohmand Agency and Khar in Bajaur Agency.
He said according to his information, 13 detainees were also set free. The bench again directed DAG to convey it to the interior and defence divisions that for resolution of the issue of enforced disappearances, they should categorised the detained persons.
According to it, the innocent people should be placed in ‘A’ category before being freed; the suspects against whom little evidence is available should be placed in ‘B’ category and handed over to police for interrogation, and the hardened militants should be placed in ‘C’ category before being shifted to notified internment centres for properly investigation.
The bench ordered the shifting of juvenile suspects to rehabilitation centres run by the security forces so that psychiatrists present there rehabilitate them and turn them into useful citizens.
In a case of two missing persons, Amjid Ali and uncle Said Khan from Adezai area, whose bodies were later found in Bara tehsil of Khyber Agency, the relevant political agent, Mutahir Zaib, told the bench that a military operation was in progress in the area from where the bodies were found.
He said it had yet to be ascertained if the two were militants and killed in the operation.
The bench asked him to form a committee to probe if the deceased were militants and in case they proved to be innocent, their families should be properly compensated.
In another case, lawyer quoted his client as saying that the body of his missing brother, Adam Khan, had been found at a deserted place.
The bench directed him to produce complete details of the case, especially whether the missing person was tortured to death and whether the body was autopsied.
Also before the bench, lawyer Nek Nawaz appeared for juvenile detainee Jamil Khan and complained the Kurram Agency administration had handed over the juvenile to security forces a few months ago before being sent to a rehabilitation centre but had yet to be released from there.
The bench directed DAG to check with the relevant authorities about the case and update it on May 16.
Meanwhile, moving scenes were seen at the high court as scores of relatives of missing persons showed up hoping that some positive development would take place in their respective cases.
The hall of the court was packed with the people, including women and children.
Several women cried, saying they belonged to poor families and could not afford to visit the court on every hearing.
A woman, Jan Saba, got fainted after the hearing into her case about the forced disappearance of her husband.
Another woman said she had been visiting courts for three years but his missing son hadn’t been recovered to her misery.
The relatives of missing persons later protested but police dispersed them.