Police refuse to register FIR of 'enforced disappearance' -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Police refuse to register FIR of ‘enforced disappearance’

HYDERABAD: The Bhitai Nagar police on Monday refused to register an FIR about ‘enforced disappearance’ of Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz activist Sikandar alias Akash Mallah on the complaint of party chief Bashir Qureshi. Mr Mallah is missing since May 16 after being allegedly picked up by the personnel of intelligence agencies with another activist Manjhi Chandio. JSQM chief with his deputy Dr Niaz Kalani and party activists arrived at the Bhitai Nagar police station after which on duty police officials left the police station and only head munshi remained there. Mr Qureshi asked the police official to register an FIR regarding disappearance of Mr Mallah in the light of a statement of Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, advising heirs of the missing persons to lodge FIRs for their recovery.

The police official, however, did not register an FIR under section 154 of the Cr.PC and, instead, recorded a statement of Mr Qureshi on a plain paper. The police official told Mr Qureshi that they needed directives from high ups for registering such case and at present senior officers were not available. Mr Qureshi told the official that Mr Mallah was picked up by the personnel of intelligence agencies from near Chandio Village in the jurisdiction of the Bhitai Nagar police on May 16. “When the area people raised hue and cry and offered resistance, the agency personnel resorted to aerial firing,” he said. He said that since then he had been striving for recovery of Mr Mallah but was unable to ascertain his whereabouts.

He urged the police official to register an FIR against the state and intelligence agencies, holding them responsible for ‘enforced disappearance’ of a number of JSQM activists. The police official told him that when an FIR was registered on the basis of his statement, he would be informed.
After being picked up with Mr Mallah, Mr Chandio was later released by police. Mr Mallah’s whereabouts remain unknown to date. Mr Manjhi appeared before the Sindh High Court’s Hyderabad circuit bench where a joint constitutional petition was filed by Imran Mallah, nephew of Mr Mallah and Sher Ali, brother of Mr Chandio. Mr Chandio filed an affidavit before the court, stating that he had been tortured in custody and on August 11, he was dropped near Naseem Nagar roundabout with the threats that he would again be picked up if he approached the court.

Talking to Dawn over phone, Mr Qureshi said that Mr Mallah, Dr Safdar Sarki and Asif Baladi were being held in illegal detention by intelligence agencies and they were not being produced before any court of law if there were any criminal cases against them.
He said that police failure to register the FIR showed that they were not ready to comply with directives of the prime minister. He said that his party would continue protest against unlawful detention of party activists.

Source: Dawn

Date:1/16/2007