The Post : 110 criminals escaped from police custody since 2005

Thursday, December 20, 2007

110 criminals escaped from police custody since 2005

Anwer Hussain Sumra | December 19, 2007

LAHORE: As many as 110 prisoners, notorious criminals, terrorists and ringleaders of various gangs escaped from the police custody during production in courts since 2005.

It is thought provoking what action was taken against the delinquent police officials on account of severe professional negligence and connivance to provide a chance to prisoners to run away.

Among escaped prisoners, eight were under trial in heinous crimes in various jails whereas the remaining 102 were convicted in more than one case by the courts like murder, kidnap, gang rape, kidnap for ransom, dacoity, corruption and terrorism.

It is worth mentioning that one female Nashadar alias Nashada, wife of Shakeel Ahmed, who was handed over to the police by central jail Rawalpindi for the production in the court of judicial magistrate in January 2005 managed to escape while offering bribe to lady police official deployed as to escort her.

Among them, Rashid Rauf is the 110th high profile criminal wanted for an alleged plan to blow up airliners from the UK to the US with liquid explosive who slipped away from police custody on Saturday after appearing in the court. The Police Department did not yet inform the Prisons Department officially about this escape in Islamabad. The Police Department just suspended the official on duty after registering a case under Section 155-C and 223 Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). A high-level committee headed by additional interior secretary was formed to probe into the matter which would submit its report today (Wednesday).

It is noteworthy, that previously all such cases of extradition were tried, invariable inside the jails, in Rashid Rauf case, the Punjab Home Department ordered for his production in the open trial court under police escort which provoked many questions. Among 110 slipped away accused, 39 were escaped in 2005, 30 in 2006 and 41 in current year from the police custody after offering bribe, putting chilies in eyes, serving toxicant food and exchange of fire with the police. Out of total, 14 escaped in Lahore, 10 in Gujranwala, six in Sheikhupura, 10 in Sailkot, 17 in Fasialabad, three in Mianwali, two in Jhang, three in Sargodha, 12 in Rawalpindi, seven in Gujrat, three in Jehlum, five in Multan, six in Bahawalpur, three in Bahawalnagar, three in Muzaffargarh and one each in Kasur, Attock and Dera Ghazi Khan.

According to Pakistan Prisons rules, the superintendent of jail would hand over healthy and sound prisoners to local police on the orders of courts for production in courts. The superintendent of jail after handing over the prisoners to the police escorts have no concern with the prisoners and he is responsible to count all prisoners before receiving back in jail from courts.

According to the Police Rules 1861, it is a key responsibility of the police officials to receive prisoners from jail and produce them in courts handcuffed. They are responsible to provide security to handcuffed prisoners, avoid their mixing in general public and meeting with friends and relatives during production in courts.

An official said the police contingents deployed to perform judicial duty to produce criminals before courts were provided weapons, handcuffs, wireless and jail vans to transport prisoners from jail to various courts.

He said the police contingents deployed to perform such duty had the habit to allow the accused to hold gossips with the friends, relatives while accepting bribe.

Some time these official crossed all the limits and take risk to allow prisoners to take lunch at private places whereas such escape incidents happen.

He said some time the aides of harden criminals forcefully got released accused either during production in courts or on the way after armed clash. In such incidents, the connivance of police officials cannot be ruled out, he said.

In Rashid Rauf case, the superintendent of Adiyala Jail informed the superintendent of police Islamabad in written to make proper security arrangement and deploy escort who could be escaped. The SP Islamabad did not make extraordinary arrangements and the incident took place, he alleged.

A report about the absconders and offenders is as below. Attique-ur-Rehman escaped from session court Lahore, Shafaqat Ali and Wajid Ali from Model Town, Jhangir from Services Hospital Lahore, Naeem, Raheel Shah, Javaid and Amir escaped from lock-up Gujranwala, Zafar Iqbal, Naveed, Abdul Raheed, Muhammad Ayub, Mehboob-ul-Hussain, Amir Sajjad, Muhammad Afzal, Farooq Ahmed, Ishaq, Irfan, Nadeem, Muhammad Akbar, Zafar Hayat, Ali Sher, Mazhar Farooq, Matte Ullah, Muhammad Naveed, Rafique, Sajjad Hussain, Safdar alias Sher Muhammad, Talat Hussain, Mukhtar, Shahid, Nabeel Nadir, Muhammad Khalid javed, Muhammad Arif, Asif, Ijaz, Muhammad Asghar, Aurangzeb, Nashadar alias Nashada, Roomi Khan, Muhammad Ayaz, Manawar, Jahangir Khan, Javed Akhtar, Muhammad Ishafaq, Bilal,, Muhammad Afzaal, ghulam Rababi, Amar Qamar, Nasir Rasheed, Amir Butt, Muhammad Arshad, Muhammad Akram, Muhammad Javaid, Muhammad Arshad, Sultan alias Tani, Mushtaq Ahmed, Muhammad Saleem, Altaf Hussain, Muhammad Aslam, Muhammad Riaz, Mehmood Akram, Saeed Ahmed, Muhammad Bilal, Noroze Khan, Moula Bukhshs, Abdul Ghafoor, Shahid, Munir Ahmed, Aqeel Ahmed, Ijaz, Mian Muhammad Iqbal, Ahmed Khan Shad, Bashir Khan, Namat Ullah, Arif Ali, Ali, Iftikhar Hussain, Muhammad Ishaq, Mudassar, Shabbir Ahmed, Asghar, Muhammad Iqbal, Jahagir Ali, Arshaf, Nazir, Abid, Nazir, Talat, Waqas, Muhammad Mansha, Mubshair, Azadar, Sajjad, Mazhar, Jahangir, Irfan, Zeenat Iman, Javed Iqbal, Jhangir, Jamil Masih, Shahzad alias Sajan, Muhammad Massif, Hakim Khan, Ashraf, Sajid, and Muhammad Iqbal.

According to Section 223, PPC deals with escape form confinement or custody negligently suffered by public servant say "whoever, brings a public servant legally bound as such public servant to keep in confinement any person charged with or convicted of any offence or lawfully committed to custody, negligently suffers such person to escape from confinement, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both'.

The police normally register cases against the accused police officials after suspending them to put ash on sensitivity of issue. Whereas all such delinquent official were normally re-instated in service by the competent authority by taking lenient view after the matter cools down, no official was awarded exemplary punishment to convey message to colleagues, an official said. Normally, the police register a case under Section 224 against the offenders and his accomplices which is liable punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine or both.