Battling crime: PHC CJ says court will not allow the city to become like Karachi

Saturday, December 14th, 2013 6:30:05 by

PESHAWAR: Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) IGP has been ordered to form a team of expert police officers to stop the increasing cases of extortion and kidnapping for ransom in the city.

Peshawar High Court (PHC) Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan issued the order on Friday while hearing the bail application of a retired police officer, Ashiq Rehman, who is accused of taking Rs150 million in extortion money from the owner of a car showroom and threatening him of dire consequences if he did not pay up.

Petitioner Rehman’s lawyer Muhammad Shabbir Khan informed the court his client had been accused of calling the showroom owner from various numbers and demanding extortion. “In reality, there is a monetary dispute between Rehman and the showroom owner over the sale of a car, and the owner is calling it a case of extortion in order to hide the actual situation,” claimed Khan.

The lawyer further argued the owner had been receiving threatening calls from July, but he only approached West Cantt police station in September. Khan contended since another accused, Moeenuddin, had been granted bail in the case, Rehman should be given bail too.

Fida Gul, lawyer of the respondent, said his client had received over 150 calls from the accused using different numbers. He claimed they also had video footage of the accused giving threatening letters to his client.

Upon hearing arguments from both lawyers, the court granted bail to Rehman on two surety bonds of Rs0.2 million.

Justice Khan remarked the court would not allow Peshawar to become like Karachi because of increasing cases of kidnapping for ransom and extortion, adding professionals including doctors and businessmen are leaving the city due to the problem.

He then ordered the K-P inspector general of police to form a team of investigators to prevent such instances from increasing any further. “These officials will be answerable to provincial police officers and the court if they show poor performance in investigation,” said Justice Khan.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 14th, 2013.

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