By Arshad Dogar
The Investigation Wing of Lahore police is using ‘conservative’ methods of interrogating ‘criminals’ despite the government’s tall claims of reforming the department.
A weekly review of the performance of Investigation Wing of Lahore Police reveals that it has absolutely failed to provide relief to robbery victims. In a rare example, however, police recovered booty and arrested dacoits within one month. Majority of cases are pending with the investigation police for many years and victims had become tired of paying ‘fees’ to investigation officers (IOs) which sometimes exceed the victim’s actual losses.
The IOs working at Investigation Wings at each police station subject accused persons to inhuman torture and force them to confess crimes. If the IO is eager to clinch cash rewards and promotions, he even dares to involve innocent people in investigation. If the IO is bribed by one party (accused or victim), he forces the accused to settle the issue.
The investigation wing has no standard method of conducting identification parade of criminals. Often, IOs pressurize the victims to withdraw the cases.
Things start at the Operations Wing of Police which arrests the alleged criminals and registers fake cases against innocent people. After cases are registered, the case is sent to the investigation in charge of the same police station, who latter hands over the case to an IO. The IO first keeps the accused person in illegal custody, which can prolong for even more than a month. The arrest is registered when police suspect the raid of court bailiff.
Johar Town police registered a case No 239/0 on March 3 on the complaint of Nazir Ahmad of Kasur district against Umair Ali of Township under sections 379 and 337-J of PPC. The complainant in the FIR alleged that Umair Ali managed to intoxicate him and took from him Rs 144,000 in cash. On the other hand, the accused, Umair, argued that if the complainant was intoxicated then why the police had no medical examination report of the victim. Umair said he was not aware of the case when it was registered adding he had a right to give his point of view before registration of the FIR. The case was handed over to ASI Muhammad Hussain Khichi, who according to the accused arrested him on April 16. The IO, Umair contended, kept him in illegal custody for over five days, subjected him to severe torture and then he (IO) presented him before a magistrate. Police took remand of the accused and forced him to settle the issue by giving a cheque of Rs 49,000 whereas the complainant has claimed a loss of Rs 144,000. The IO took cheque Number TD-933038 of Account No 10823-4 of NBP dated May 24, 2009 from accused Umair’s mother and filled it himself. Police also took affidavit from the accused by force in which it was written that the issue had been resolved between the both parties and the accused would not try to proceed for further action against the complainant. Umair’s mother told this correspondent that IO Khichi was threatening her son, saying he would implicate her son in the cases of heinous crimes and nobody could get his bail for even seven years. Investigation in charge of Johar Town Police when contacted expressed his ignorance about the case and assured that Khichi would face action if found guilty. On the other hand, the complainant said that the case was in notice of the investigation in charge and he was hiding the facts.
Separately, Sabzazar (Operations) Police arrested two brothers from Karachi on April 22. Sub-inspector Rafaqat of North Karachi has also confirmed the arrest of two brothers from Karachi on April 22. On the other hand, Sabzazar SHO had claimed that they had arrested the two persons from Lahore. Police had also issued a press release claiming that they had busted Bhai Dacoit Gang and arrested its main members Zahid Iqbal and Wahid Iqbal. Police have registered the arrest of two brothers on record on May 10, 2009 and registered five cases on the same day against them. Whereas, police have also implicated the two brothers in around 24 cases which were registered against unidentified people in the incidents of crime against property. Now the alleged dacoits are on physical remand with the Sabzazar Investigation Police and the latter is taking them to police stations for identification parade. It is learnt that police were only giving punishment to the two brothers for being the brothers of two criminals despite they had no links to crime.
Meanwhile, robbers continued their looting spree in the provincial metropolis during the last week. A slight decrease in the street crime was observed. No headway was made in solving already registered cases.
Robbers deprived 153 citizens of cash, gold jewellery, valuables, cell phones, cars and motorcycles in six divisions of Lahore Police. At least 32 motorcycles and 23 cars were stolen or snatched. A woman was killed while five others were injured on resistance. Around 34 cases of crime against property were registered in City Division, 31 in Cantt Division, 30 in Saddar Division, 24 in Model Town Division, 20 in Iqbal Town Division and 14 in Civil Lines Division.