Attock: Escape of alleged kidnapper a big question mark
ATTOCK: The escape of an alleged high-profile kidnapper from the lock-up of Hassanabdal police on October 21 has further put a question mark on the performance of the Attock police. Sher Ali, a resident of Swat, had been arrested on October 16 in connection with the kidnapping and murder of a boy. Mohammad Suhalah, of Usmanabad village, was kidnapped on September 29 for a ransom of Rs25 million.
A police team led by the SP (investigation) arrested the four-member gang on October 16. During interrogation, the gang disclosed that they had killed the boy and threw his body into a well near Pind Mehri village.
Less than a week after their arrest, the gang’s leader, Sher Ali, was brought out from the lock-up without handcuffs and allowed to escape in a car which was waiting outside the police station.
Sources in the police said the officials of the police station had allegedly taken bribe and let the accused go. Though the district police officer (DPO) suspended eight officials of the police station, including the SHO, and arrested them, the police officials’ alleged connivance with the kidnappers not only disappointed the public but also further damaged the police image.
“Yes, it is all due to the increasing trend of corruption in the police department,” said Mohammad Zubair, the Additional Inspector General of Police, in his comments on the incident. However, he refuted the impression of any political support to the police officials. He said whenever any incident of negligence occurred the police took action against those involved.
When contacted, DPO Mohammad Hilal Khan said the involvement of police officials in the escape of the accused cannot be ruled out.
It may be noted that the police had already been under severe public criticism due to the increasing kidnapping for ransom cases and escape of arrested criminals. Three alleged kidnappers – Habibullah, Saeedullah, Rohul Ameen – all residents of KP, escaped from the lockup of Rangu police station on Sept 30, 2011. The police have so far failed to trace the accused.
Malik Safdar, a plaza owner from Jatiyal village, was abducted on June 28, 2011, for a ransom of Rs5 million. However, his body was recovered in a village near Peshawar on August 9, 2011.
Just a day after that, a senior official of a bank was also kidnapped but he was recovered by the police in the tribal area of Sakahkot, KP, on Aug 17, 2011.
Junaid Ahmed, 28, was abducted from Darulsalam Colony in December 2011.
He got freedom after paying ransom to his captors.
Another citizen, Mohammad Niaz, was also kidnapped on January 14, 2012. He also had to pay ransom to the kidnappers to get freedom.
Sheikh Tariq Jameel, a businessman, was abducted on Feb 2, 2012, by a gang of kidnappers.
He had to pay Rs30 million ransom before being released on June 29.