'Missing person' produced before IHC, court orders probe into disappearances

'Missing person' produced before IHC, court orders probe into disappearances

Islamabad (Web Desk): The Islamabad Police recovered and presented missing person Haseeb Hamza before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday.

The development comes after the IHC Chief Justice (CJ) Athar Minallah on Tuesday directed Islamabad Inspector General (IG) to recover Haseeb Hamza till Wednesday (today).

During the hearing today, the IHC CJ asked Haseeb where he had been, to which he replied that he was blindfolded at the time he was taken and had no knowledge of where he was.

Justice Athar Minallah then asked police personnel about the inquiry the IG had conducted.

As per the police, they were investigating the delay in registering the initial case as well as the disappearance.

Elaborating on other missing person cases, the police said that some people had been recovered while other cases were still under way.

Upon this, the IHC CJ stressed that the state had a constitutional responsibility to ensure the protection of citizens. “But no one is fulfilling their responsibility and accountability was also not ensured.”

He maintained that on August 23, Haseeb’s father went to the station housing officer (SHO) but the first informant report (FIR) was only filed after the court took notice.

“Has the court ever stopped you from taking action against someone who has committed a crime?” the CJ asked, stressing that the police must act according to the law.

He highlighted that even today people were missing. To this, the advocate general replied that there were some shortcomings in the system and that a full investigation would be conducted.

The advocate general added that the IG had been instructed to take immediate action if someone went to the police.

The IHC CJ said that the system did not have any defects, rather there was no accountability or responsibility, adding that the court could do nothing except uphold the Constitution and the law.

The advocate general told the court that he would hold a meeting, but Justice Minallah contended that the court did not want to know about meetings.

Later, the court instructed the Islamabad IG to personally supervise the investigation of Haseeb’s case and submit a report to the registrar of the high court by September 22.

“This court depends on you and cannot conduct inquiries itself,” Justice Minallah said. The AG responded that he would perform his duty.

“Those responsible for the missing and neglect of the youth should be determined,” Justice Minallah added.

The court maintained that in light of past orders, the authorities should punish those who do not fulfil their responsibilities, the court said as it disposed of the petition.

On Tuesday, the IHC had given Islamabad Inspector General Akbar Nasir Khan a day to recover the missing person, Haseeb Hamza.

IG Khan had appeared before the court and had informed Justice Minallah that an FIR had been registered in the case.

The IHC CJ remarked that if the citizen is not recovered, then the sector commander of the spy agencies, including the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Military Intelligence (MI), and Special Branch would be summoned.

It is pertinent to mention that a citizen Zulfiqar Ali had filed a petition in the IHC for the recovery of his son Haseeb Hamza who had been missing for three weeks.

In his petition, Haseeb’s father had maintained that his son was abducted from their residence on the midnight of August 22 and 23 after around 20 persons, 15 of whom were in black uniform, raided the petitioner’s house without any search warrant.

The petitioner said that he filed an application with the local police for FIR but cops refuse to lodge the case.

"They claimed that the missing boy was with the agencies", the complainant told the court.