Another DSP suspended: Gang-rape accused held in Karachi
FAISALABAD: A gang-rape case main accused who escaped from police custody earlier this month was arrested by a Faisalabad police team from Karachi on Friday. Ashar Ali’s name hit the newspaper headlines when the Supreme Court scolded the Faisalabad police leadership for their failure in tracing the accused.
The apex court had converted the application of alleged rape victim into a suo motu notice earlier this month. In its last hearing on Thursday, the court had directed the police to produce the absconder on March 27.
Meanwhile, a former city police officer, a superintendent of police, a DSP, an SHO and the investigation in charge of the D Type Colony police station are in the dock on charges of faulty investigation in that case that earned a bad name to the police.
Inspector General of Punjab Police Haji Habibur Rehman has suspended former Batala Colony DSP Mian Akmal from service and sought an explanation from former CPO Osama Mumtaz Raja and then Iqbal Town SP Nasir Sial.
The decision to this effect was taken at a meeting held at the Regional Police Office here on Thursday evening where IG, Punjab home secretary, RPO Aftab Ahmed Cheema and City Police Officer Bilal Siddique Kamyana were present. The officials met to review the progress of the arrest of Asghar Ali.
At the meeting, the CPO informed the team, which visited Faisalabad on the direction of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, that he had taken up the issue personally and constituted two special teams comprising SSP (operations) Sadiq Ali Dogar and SSP (investigation) Mujahid Akbar to trace the accused. Both teams did their utmost to find the accused by interrogating his relatives, family members, his spiritual healer and even notables of his native town.
Sources privy to the development told Dawn both the IG and the home secretary expressed their satisfaction over the progress made in the case and asked the CPO to continue efforts to trace Asghar by working on different lines.
The inquiry team discussed the role of Raja, Sial and DSP Akmal. The officers came to the conclusion that the officials had not performed their duties well.
The team was also informed that the investigation officer had charged five accused, including Asghar, Ansar, Ahsan, Tariq and Karam Husain. He submitted their challan in a hurry without giving reasons on what grounds he had declared them guilty of gang-rape.
The woman had got registered the case with the D Type Colony police on Aug 8, 2010, on the direction of Additional District and Sessions Judge Suleman Baig against five accused — Asghar, Ansar, Ahsan and two unknown — under sections 365-B and 376 of the Pakistan Penal Code.In her supplementary statement, she identified Tariq and Karm Husain as the remaining accused.
Sources said the police got a clue that Pir Saqlain Shah, the spiritual mentor of absconder Asghar, could help the police to produce him before the court. The police contacted Shah and asked him about Asghar. Shah also responded in negative saying he had no contact with him.
The team also asked the RPO to determine the role of the then SHO, investigation in-charge and support staff and penalise them under the relevant law.
A couple of days ago, DIG Mubasharullah also visited Faisalabad and got information about the case and police efforts to trace the accused.
Mian Akmal is the second DSP who has been penalised in this case after the Supreme Court notice. Earlier, Batala Colony DSP Mian Khalid was made an OSD and then suspended following reports that Asghar had fled from his custody.
The RPO told Dawn a notification for the suspension of DSPs had been issued and show-cause notices were also served on the investigation in-charge and the investigation officer of the case who concluded it. He said the IGP would seek an explanation from Raja as well.