Despite repeatedly assuring the court that they were ‘close’ to apprehending a key suspect in parading a teenaged girl naked in Dera Ismail Khan village last year, the provincial police once again turned up empty-handed before the court on Tuesday.
A two-member bench of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) comprising Justice Roohul Amin Khan and Justice Ikramullah Khan, on Tuesday took up the case, filed by the victim’s mother demanding justice and protection against the accused, apart from action against those who had filmed her daughter as she was paraded naked.
Karim Khan, a deputy inspector general (DIG) of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) police submitted a report to the court and said that they have expanded their radius while searching for the suspect, Sajawal, including mounting cross-province raids in the Layyah district of neighbouring Punjab.
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Moreover, they had registered a further five cases against the suspect and his family.
The police officer told the court that while the suspect had never had a passport processed, there was little chance that he could flee the country.
However, the court diverted the DIG’s attention towards the numerous illegal crossing points along the porous border. The cop conceded that this was indeed possible or that he had taken refuge in the nearby tribal areas. Regardless, he said that the suspect’s name has been included in the Exit Control List (ECL) to prevent flight from a formal port of exit.
The K-P government, Karim said, has also confiscated a 138 kanal property of the suspect apart from blocking his computerized national identity card.
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The DIG further said that they had recovered seven phones from his family which have been examined for videos allegedly recorded by the accused of the victim as she was dishonoured.
At the last hearing of the case, the police had told the court that they had some important clues about the suspect’s whereabouts and would arrest him soon.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 21st, 2018.