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Two police officers suspended for releasing a religious leader

02 January, 2015

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ISLAMABAD: Two city police officers have been suspended for releasing a religious leader who was caught overnight but released after a civil judge granted him bail on Thursday.

In a late night move, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered the suspension of Senior Superintendent of Islamabad Police Asmatullah Junejo and another officer for showing leniency to the activist of a religious outfit arrested on charges of displaying weapons.

According to a government’s spokesman, the prime minister ordered the action against the police officers to make them an example for other officers of the police and law enforcement agencies particularly at a time when the country was faced with menace of terrorism.

A capital police press statement said that Mufti Tanveer Alam Farooqui of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) - a reincarnation of the banned Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan sectarian group - was caught with his bodyguards for carrying arms but all were charged lightly by the police.

Since the accused were not displaying their weapons when intercepted, the police thought they could not be booked on that charge, according to the press statement.

IGP Tahir Alam Khan and Assistant Inspector General of Police Operation Dr Sultan Azam Temuri are inquiring into the matter.

Police and government officials that in view of the prevailing peculiar security situation SSP Mir Waiz Niaz of the Security Wing has been given additional charge of SSP Operations.

Neither senior police officers of the city nor the suspended officers were available for comments.

However, ASWJ Islamabad’s President Ghulam Mustafa Baloch commented that the SHO could have granted bail to Mufti Tanveer Alam Farooqui but asked his colleagues to approach the court for the purpose, which they did.

Mr Baloch said that Mufti sahib was the target of three assassination attempts in which four persons were killed.

A joint patrolling team of Rangers and police on Wednesday intercepted a double cabin pickup at Tramri Chowk after spotted gunmen ridding in it. It was revealed that they were escorting ASWJ’s Rawalpindi President Mufti Tanveer Alam Farooqui.

The patrolling team found the weapons illegal and the men held.

They and the weapons were handed to the Shahzad Town police station, except a sub-machine gun in the possession of a constable, the official sources said.

Five separate cases were registered against them at the police station. Charges mentioned in FIRs 689 to 692 related to Arm Ordinance and in the last FIR 693 against Mufti Farooqui on charge of PPC 188.

Soon after their arrest, local leadership of ASWJ reached Shahzad Town Police Station, to secure them bail. They pleaded that the section under which the cases were registered allowed by the SHO but the police refused.

On Thursday, a lawyer secured bail for the arrested persons from a civil court and they were release from the custody of the police.

SSP Junejo suspended to pay for the annoying release was the officer who stood by the government in its confrontation with the PTI and Pakistan Awami Tehrik agitators outside the parliament last September when his seniors chose to cool their heels. He was badly beaten when he resisted the charge of the agitators on the federal secretariat.

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