KARACHI. Two policemen were arrested on Friday after the prime suspect in two high-profile kidnapping cases of Bisma Saleem and Dua Mangi escaped from their custody in Karachi, prompting Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to give orders to suspend Courts SSP Azam Durrani.
According to the first information report (FIR), which was registered in the Ferozabad Police Station, Zohaib Ali Qureshi s/o Mumtaz Ali Qureshi, one of the accused in the 2019 kidnappings, was presented before the Civil and Judicial Magistrate Court on Thursday. The court had fixed February 9, 2022, as the next date of hearing.
The FIR, a copy of which is available with Aaj News, was registered against court police constable Habib Zafar and head constable Mohammed Naveed for their alleged negligence that led to the prime suspect’s escape. Qureshi has also been nominated in the report.
It was registered on behalf of Assistant Sub-Inspector Mohammed Khalid under sections 223 (escape from confinement or custody negligently suffered by public servant), 224 (resistance or obstruction by a person to his lawful apprehension) and 225-A (omission to apprehend, or sufferance of escape, on part of a public servant, in cases not otherwise provided for) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
The FIR read that Qureshi was brought to Dolmen Mall on Tariq Road in a private car as he had told the accompanying police personnel that he wanted to shop there. “The suspect [Zohaib Ali Qureshi] fled after seeing the police officer leaving the mall,” it read.
However, the CCTV footage, which is available with Aaj News, showed that the suspect exited the car alone. The footage shows Qureshi entered the mall from one gate and exited from the other. After exiting, he sits in a rickshaw and escapes.
Reacting to the development, head constable Naveed informed police constable Zafar, who was present at city court with other accused persons. After receiving this information, ASI Mohammed Khalid along with head constable Muhammad Yunus reached the shopping mall and apprehended Naveed.
The FIR also quoted Naveed saying that after the hearing, he had taken a private car with Qureshi to Tariq Road because the accused had told him he wanted to shop at Dolmen Mall. Head constable Naveed said, “Qureshi went inside the mall and fled after deceiving me.”
According to the FIR, Zafar, the other police personnel, was arrested outside the jail. Moreover, a police party also went to Qureshi’s residence in Steel Town for his arrest, but no progress had been made on that front till now.
The ASI has demanded that the two police personnel, who “intentionally” let the suspect escape, are investigated, while also calling for the suspect's arrest.
Sources told Aaj News that Qureshi's escape was discovered after prisoners returned to jail from courts and they were counted.
Dua Mangi was abducted on November 30, 2019, from Karachi’s DHA area. Dua was freed after the family paid a ransom amount of Rs2.5 million. The police arrested suspects on March 18, 2020. The police investigation had found that the same group had also abducted a girl identified as Bisma Saleem, who was also released after a ransom was paid. Both the cases are being heard in the Anti-Terrorism Court.
Meanwhile, Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah took notice of the incident and ordered the Sindh inspector general and interior secretary to conduct a “strict investigation.” The involved police personnel were “arrested and sent to jail” on the chief minister's orders.
He also ordered the “immediate suspension” of Courts SSP Azam Durrani.