Islamabad: Woman’s murder: 3 policemen guilty of tampering with case
ISLAMABAD: An inquiry committee has found three officials of the capital police guilty of tampering with the investigation of a murder case to portray the alleged killer innocent, sources close to the development told Dawn. The committee, comprising an AIG and two superintendents of the police, recommended that the alleged killer should be arrested and his remand taken for investigation. On March 3, 2011, R.A. allegedly shot dead his former wife and injured his daughter at her residence in Sihala. The police said after separation from R.A., the woman had contracted a second marriage and lived with her new husband along with the daughter.
Later, she ran into a dispute with her former husband over admission of their daughter to a school which resulted in her murder.
The Sihala police registered a case on the charges of murder and attempt to murder on the complaint of Mehboob Sultan, the father-in-law of the woman.
The sources said after the murder of the woman the accused was arrested but the court granted him bail after about two weeks due to the poor investigation by the police.
The inquiry committee, formed on the directive of the inspector general of police, Bani Amin Khan, also found the Gilgit police involved in favouring the accused by producing evidence in his favour. It recommended strict departmental action against the three policemen and also against a Gilgit police official.
It may be noted that in early September, 2012, Mr Sultan complained to the IGP that the police investigators had tampered with the case documents by replacing the statements and diaries to portray the accused innocent. The IGP ordered the superintendent of police City zone,
Mohammad Ilyas, to probe the allegation. The inquiry by the SP showed that the allegations were true.
In response to the inquiry, the IGP suspended the SHO Sihala, Inspector Mohammad Bashir, and asked the AIG operation to head another probe to establish the allegations against Mr Bashir along with the SHO of Bhara Kahu Inspector Nazir Ahmed and two sub–inspectors – Haibatullah and Liaquat – who were the investigators of the case.
The inquiry by the three-member committee revealed that the statements of the eyewitness, including the daughter of the accused who was injured in the attack, and his driver were found missing from the case file despite the fact that its copies were available with the complainant.
The police also investigated the statement of the accused in which he had claimed that on the day of the incident he was in the custody of Gilgit Cantonment police in connection with a monetary dispute with one Mir Tariq Mehmood.
Babar Khan, a DSP, was sent to Gilgit who probed into the matter and brought back a settlement document between the accused and Mr Mehmood from the Cantonment police. However, the signature on the document produced by the accused was found forged.
Initially, when the accused was in the police remand, he had also told investigators that at the time of the incident, he was at a restaurant in Sector F-8. However, this statement was later also found missing from the case file though its copy was available with the complainant.
The inquiry also showed that Inspector Nazir did not get the mobile record of the accused to ascertain his location at the time of the murder.
It was also revealed that SI Haibatullah had helped the accused in obtaining bail from the court.
The SI had recovered a 9mm pistol from the car of the accused and sent it to Lahore for verification, the sources said. They pointed out that a weapon used in the crime is recovered only on the disclosure of the accused but in this case the SI had acted independently.
Later, another investigation officer, SI Liaquat, declared the accused innocent and in response to his recommendation, Inspector Bashir submitted the challan to the court without verifying and rechecking the documents.
The sources in the police said when the inquiry into the case was underway the accused approached Islamabad High Court to get it stopped.
He alleged that the committee had misbehaved and threatened him. Besides, the accused also contended that as the case was under trial, further investigation could not be conducted. The high court stayed the inquiry but when the counsel for the accused informed the police about the ruling on October 9, the committee had already submitted its report to the IGP for further action.