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Feathers ruffled by missing persons notice

Chief Minister Sindh Qaim Ali Shah. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Chief Minister Sindh Qaim Ali Shah. PHOTO: EXPRESS


The Sindh government has had to step in and issue clarifications after a newspaper advertisement on missing persons accused the Rangers of being involved.

Several newspapers carried on Tuesday missing persons notices published on behalf of Orangi Town DSP. The ads claimed that these men were picked up by ‘unknown Rangers personnel’. By evening, the Sindh government issued a series of clarifications denying knowledge of the ads and eventually suspending the DSP.

“It is a conspiracy against Rangers’ performance,” stated a statement issued by Sindh Rangers. The paramilitary force’s spokesperson said that advertisement against Rangers by a police official is a conspiracy to disrupt peace in Karachi.

The Rangers have decided to start their own investigations into the matter and what caused the officials to publish such an ad. Declaring allegations levelled in the advertisement as baseless, Sindh Rangers also warned that it has a right to take legal action.

Meanwhile, the Sindh government tried its best to ease the tensions. Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah insisted that action will be taken against those who tried to create rifts between the Rangers and the police. In a statement issued on Wednesday, Shah said there is no clash between the two law enforcement agencies, adding that the ads were an attempt to create differences among them. The investigations into the advertisements are underway. “Action will be taken if proof is found,” he assured.

Since the controversial advertisement was routed through the Sindh Information Department (SID), its officials have been directed to refrain from publishing such advertisements of missing persons or against any agency until they receive orders from top officials.

A government official claimed that the letter asking the SID to publish the ads in leading newspapers was written by DSP Fakhrul Islam Usman, along with a cover letter written by District West Investigations SP Latif Siddiqui, who is currently abroad on official assignment.

“We are not responsible for publishing these advertisements,” said an SID official. He clarified that all protocol was followed when the ad was published and the entire process was legal. “The issue was not from our end.”

Explaining his department’s role, Sindh Information Minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro said that the cover letter was issued by an SSP and that the SID’s role is merely that of a postman. “Action will be taken if someone is found guilty of conspiracy,” he said, advising all departments to verify all the details before sending them to the SID.

Meanwhile, Sindh Home Minister Sohail Anwer Siyal ordered the Sindh IG to suspend DSP Usman. The notification of Usman’s suspension was issued on Wednesday.

The ads published in several Urdu, English and Sindhi newspapers mention six persons who have been forcibly taken away by ‘unknown Rangers personnel’. They appeal to the general public to share their whereabouts to Mominabad and Orangi police stations where their FIRs have been lodged.

The missing persons in the advertisements are Fawad, son of Shamsur Rehman, Syed Nadir Shah, son of Syed Ahmed Shah, Ahsanullah, son of Abbas Khan, Syed Tahir Ali, son of Syed Barkat Ali, Ibrar Ahmed, son of Mohammad Ismail and Haider Ali, son of Ali Haider.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 8th, 2015.

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