KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Monday directed the Sohrab Goth police to register a case to track down a Baloch social worker allegedly taken away by unidentified personnel of the law enforcement agencies.
A two-judge bench headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto also directed the police to prepare an inquiry report and submit it in court on the next date of hearing on Oct 23.
The bench was hearing a constitutional petition of ‘missing’ man Abdul Wahid Baloch’s 20-year-old eldest daughter, Hani Baloch, who impleaded the police, Rangers and other security agencies as respondents.
The petitioner, represented by advocates Salahuddin and Rehan Kiyani, submitted in the petition that her father was taken away by the security agencies personnel on July 26 in Sohrab Goth while he was coming to the city from an interior part of the province.
At the outset of the hearing, Advocate Kiyani told the judges that the family had repeatedly approached the Sohrab Goth police for lodging an FIR for the recovery of the missing man, but to no avail.
However, the area SHO denied the counsel’s claim and submitted that the petitioner or her family members did not contact him for the registration of the case.
Later, he undertook to register the FIR as and when the missing person’s family approached him.
She would approach the Gadap police station on Tuesday to register an FIR, Hani Baloch said soon after a hearing of the case (68/4247) was held at the high court on Monday. Her father Abdul Wahid, publisher and writer, was stopped by two men at the Superhighway toll plaza on July 26.
He was on his way back in a van from Digri, where he attended an event. According to his friend, Sabir Ali Sabir, who accompanied him during the journey, one of the two men asked Abdul Wahid to step down after checking his mobile phone.
The men then pushed him towards a pickup truck, according to Mr Sabir, and asked the driver to leave as soon as possible.
The family had earlier approached the Gadap police station to register an FIR, but, they claimed that the SHO of Gadap did not register the case.
Ms Hani then filed a petition in the high court on Aug 2 along with a letter written by police officers at the Gadap police station and a letter of acknowledgment by the Civil Hospital, where Abdul Wahid worked as a telephone operator.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan then formed a fact-finding mission to investigate the case on Aug 3.
Later, in a press conference at the Karachi Press Club, HRCP provincial vice-chairperson Asad Iqbal Butt said the letters written to the higher authorities to inquire about Mr Wahid’s disappearance returned to their Karachi office without being received.
Earlier the court had given Sep 5, as the date of hearing, but the case could not be taken up by the bench due to a strike at the high court.
Meanwhile, the same bench directed the respondents, including police, Rangers and other security agencies, to file their respective comments on 10 constitutional petitions seeking whereabouts of as many people allegedly taken away by the law enforcers.
The bench directed the home secretary to form a joint investigation team for the recovery of a missing man, Kashif, a student of Bachelor of Technology at the NED Engineering University, missing since Aug 17, 2015.
The other petitions sought recovery of Salimur Rehman and Sher Ali.
Published in Dawn, September 27th, 2016