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PHC disposes of habeas corpus petition

PHC disposes of habeas corpus petition

PESHAWAR: A Peshawar High Court bench on Wednesday disposed of a habeas corpus petition filed against the alleged illegal detention of a young man, who was later killed in a police encounter in Punjab, as a report produced on behalf of Punjab’s home department claimed that the deceased was a member of Al-Qaeda.

Chief Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Mohammad Ibrahim Khan observed that the petitioner, Mohammad Ismail, who is the father of the deceased, had the right to register an FIR against the disappearance of his son.

The petitioner had filed the petition last year after his son, Khan Wahid, was allegedly taken into custody by the law-enforcement agencies in Peshawar.

During the pendency of the petition, Khan Wahid was killed by the Punjab police on Mar 30, 2016, in Lahore.

When the bench started hearing of the petition, deputy attorney general Mussaratullah Khan produced the copy of a report of the Punjab home department about the March 30, 2016, incident claiming five members of Al-Qaeda were killed near Raiwind, including Khan Wahid.

Khalid Khan Afridi, lawyer for the petitioner, said the detainee was killed in a fake police encounter.

He claimed that the detainee was a student of BCom at a local college.

The lawyer said on May 5, 2015, a large number of personnel of different law-enforcement agencies raided the residence of the petitioner in Afridi Garhi area of Peshawar and took away his son.

He added that the whereabouts of the detainee remained untraced.

The lawyer said the petitioner had filed the case last year fearing his son might be killed in custody and that the fears later proved right.

He said the petitioner insisted the hands of his son were tied when he was killed in a ‘cold- blooded manner in the fake encounter’.

The Punjab police had claimed they had killed five members of Al-Qaeda during a raid on a house near Raiwind after receiving credible information.

They had insisted that as soon as the police team reached the house, they came under fire by terrorists, who were killed in retaliatory action.

The police had claimed the killed people were involved in multiple high-profile acts of terrorism.

SECRETARY SUMMONED: The bench has summoned the provincial finance secretary in a contempt case involving the father of an education department employee seeking compensation under the ‘Shuhada Package’.

It directed the secretary to appear in person on Oct 20 and explain why he had not been implementing an earlier order of the high court directing the government to pay the ‘Shuhada Package’ compensation to the petitioner in light of his son’s death in an act of terrorism.

Khalid Rehman, lawyer for petitioner Shad Ali, said his client’s son, Anwar Ali, was a Class-IV employee in the education department, Civil Secretariat.

He said on June 9, 2012, Anwar Ali was returning to Mardan, his ancestral city, in a bus carrying employees of Civil Secretariat Peshawar when an explosive device planted there went off killing around 19 people including him.

The lawyer said the high court had directed the government to compensate his client under ‘Shuhada Package’ in 2013.

He said despite recommendation made by the education department the petitioner was paid only Rs1 million whereas under the said package, he had to receive Rs3 million.

The lawyer said the finance department had been delaying the matter without reasonable ground.

Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2016

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