Clifton SP removed from post over suspect’s custodial death

Faraz Khan
Wednesday, Apr 17, 2024

A murder case has been registered against the station house officer (SHO) and head muharrir (clerk) of the Darakhshan police station, and Clifton’s superintendent of police has been removed from his post over the custodial death of a suspect allegedly involved in an extortion case.

The custodial death case was registered on behalf of the state under the sections of murder and illegal confinement against SHO Ali Raza Leghari and Head Muharrir Mufassil Ahmed Leghari.

Clifton SP Nayyar Ali was also removed from his post in the aftermath of the incident. He was asked to report to the Karachi Police Office, while Gulberg SP Uzair Ahmed was appointed in his place.

The suspect Moiz Naseem had been arrested in an extortion case by the Darakhshan police on April 14. According to the complainant Abdul Basit, Moiz Naseem made extortion calls to him, then sent a man to his home in Sea View to collect the money.

Basit said he had already paid almost Rs1.6 million. On April 14 the complainant called Moiz Naseem to his house and got him arrested by the police. Instead of registering a case against the suspect and handing him over to the police, the Darakhshan operational police kept him in their own custody. The suspect died under mysterious circumstances in the lock-up of the police station on the night of April 15.

Karachi police chief Addl IGP Imran Yaqoob Minhas took notice of the incident and formed an inquiry team to investigate the matter. West Zone police chief DIG Irfan Ali Baloch is heading the team.

The inquiry officer DIG Baloch can seek the assistance of any other officer for the investigation. A comprehensive inquiry report is to be submitted within three days. Further formal action will be taken on the basis of the inquiry report.

On the orders of DIG Baloch, Gulberg ASP Saad bin Ubaid reached the Darakhshan police station to record the statements of everyone, including the SHO and the head clerk.

The ASP said that it is necessary to determine responsibility in the inquiry and what has happened, adding that meetings would also be held with medical and legal teams.

He said that an assessment of the medico-legal report would be conducted. He also said that they would determine what occurred at the police station, and their timeline would be reviewed. Statements of all those involved in the case will be recorded, he added. Statement of the dismissed Clifton SP will also be recorded. The investigation team has also contacted family members. According to sources, the initial investigation suggests that it seems to be a matter of give and take that had led the suspect to the police station. The suspect was allegedly subjected to violence while in police custody. Despite the passing of 16 hours, the post-mortem examination of the deceased had not been initiated.

Karachi Police Surgeon Dr Summaiya Syed said on Tuesday afternoon that the autopsy was being carried out. When asked about the delay, she replied that it was a procedural delay due to protocols in cases of custodial deaths.

Earlier, a magistrate had arrived at the Darakhshan police station to take custody of the suspect’s body. The magistrate obtained the details of the suspect’s arrest and alleged torture. The magistrate recorded the statements of the SHO, the head clerk and the duty officers. The magistrate also recorded the statements of the SHO’s guards and squad members. The post-mortem examination of the deceased was later carried out under the magistrate’s supervision. The medical board formed for the purpose includes Dr Summaiya, Dr Sonumal, Dr Kamran and Dr Osama.

According to Dr Summaiya, multiple injuries have been found all over the suspect’s body. She said his death was not due to natural causes. All samples have been collected for conducting chemical analysis, histopathology and DNA test, she added.