Paramilitary force had said they handed over his custody to prison officials
KARACHI: As the Rangers and the prison officials shifted responsibility of the custody of a missing Pasban leader on each other, the Sindh High Court ordered both the authorities to produce him in court on October 15.
“This is a very sensitive issue and the court cannot overlook it,” remarked the two judges, ordering the law officers to communicate the orders to the paramilitary force’s provincial chief and the Karachi central prison’s superintendent.
Usman Moazzam, the secretary general of Pasban-e-Pakistan, had contested and lost the much-hyped by-elections in the NA-246 Azizabad constituency to the traditional winner, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. He was allegedly taken away by some personnel of the law enforcement agencies from his Samanabad residence on July 19, claimed the family.
Read: SHC seeks Rangers’ comments on missing Pasban leader
His wife, Subohi Usman Moazzam, alleged that the law enforcers had also taken her son, Muhammad Siddiqui, into their custody and were not disclosing their whereabouts despite repeated requests.
Her lawyer, Muhammad Farooq, said that the Rangers authorities had in writing informed an anti-terrorism court recently that they had detained the petitioner’s husband for 90 days for questioning and his custody was handed over to the prison authorities.
When the family members approached the Karachi central prison on September 18 to meet the detainee, the officials said they had not received custody of Moazzam from the Rangers, disclosed the lawyer. Therefore, the family members are running from the pillar to post in order to meet the detainee, whom they have not seen yet, he added.
Advocate Farooq pleaded the court ask the prison and the Rangers authorities about the custody of the detainee with directions to allow his meeting with the family. “This is a sensitive matter,” observed the head of the bench, Justice Irfan Saadat Khan. “The court cannot overlook it.”
With these observations, the bench directed the Rangers director-general and the jail superintendent to produce the detainee in the court on October 15.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 11th, 2015.