Faisalabad: ASP confronts probe over foray; collared outlaw supported by 4 MPAs
FAISALABAD: According to the Dawn News on Wednesday, four MPAs belonging to the party ruling Punjab have reportedly joined hands in support of an arrested proclaimed offender and to ‘teach a lesson’ to the police officer who dared to arrest the PO who happened to be a blue-eyed bodyguard of one of these members of the provincial assembly.
Sources said the police hierarchy of the division, despite sympathising with their law-abiding junior, an ASP, was seemingly taking a back seat on the issue fearing displeasure of a PML-N politician holding a high-profile portfolio in the province.
The sources said recently appointed Sadar ASP Amjad Sheikh arrested Mohammad Riaz, a bodyguard of PMLN-N MPA Ajmal Asif in a raid on Oct 23 in connection with a campaign against proclaimed offenders.
Riaz is facing three cases – one under section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, another under section 324 of the PPC (attempted murder) and one under section 13 of the Arms Ordinance (No 20), 1965 (possession of illegal firearm) – all registered at Thekariwala police station.
Police sources said the raid was actually conducted on the outhouse of the MPA, but later because of political pressure it was mentioned in the FIR the PO was arrested from his (Riaz’s) house.
The sources said immediately after the arrest the MPA contacted local police officers and pressurised them to secure his bodyguard’s release but they refused to oblige him.
After his arrest Riaz was detained at the police station for two days where he was given VIP treatment by the staff, the sources added. He was sent on judicial remand only after two-day physical remand.
After that, the sources said, Mr Ajmal Asif, and three other PML-N MPAs — Khawaja Islam, Rao Kashif Raheem and Zafar Iqbal – contacted their high-profile patron in Punjab government, saying the arrest of Riaz was a political ‘plot’ to tarnish their image and should be investigated into.
Seemingly asked by party’s provincial high-ups, Punjab IG Tariq Saleem Dogar appointed DIG (investigation) Amleesh Chaudhary as inquiry officer to probe into the matter.
The inquiry officer visited Faisalabad on Sunday and summoned the ASP at the Regional Police Office where the four MPAs were already present.
Police sources privy to the probe said the point the investigators were interested in probing was that from where Riaz was arrested and why police had been on a patrol in the area even after the PO’s arrest.
The PO, the sources said, also misbehaved with the ASP and threatened him with dire consequences. However, no case was registered against the PO for hurling threats at a police officer.
The PO, Riaz, was a prime accused in a case registered in 2008 in connection with the death of a labourer during a protest demonstration at Mr Asif’s factory, resulting in a brawl between the security guards and workers who were demanding their wages.