RAWALPINDI: The Lahore High Court Rawalpindi bench on Friday declared the police report on the alleged disappearance of Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed as unsatisfactory and summoned the RPO Rawalpindi in person on September 26.
LHC Rawalpindi bench Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan presided over the hearing on a petition filed for recovery of Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, his nephew Sheikh Shakir and staff member Sheikh Imran.
The court rejected the Rawalpindi police report as unsatisfactory and summoned the RPO Rawalpindi in person on September 26.
“How it can be that a former minister and two others went missing from the city and the police have no knowledge of the matter,” remarked Justice Khan during the hearing.
The CPO Rawalpindi informed the court that Sh Rashid was arrested from Islamabad. “We have no knowledge about it,” said the CPO. Expressing its surprise, the court said how it could be possible that the police did not know.
The court further remarked that police report expressing ignorance was flawed and rejected it as unsatisfactory. The LHC bench directed RPO Khurram Ali to appear in person before court on September 26 along with relevant details.
‘Lal Haveli sealed’
The Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) on Thursday had sealed Lal Haveli used by Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed. Police and FIA personnel assisted the ETPB in sealing the place.
ETPB Deputy Administrator Asif Khan completed the operation and sealed the main doors of Lal Haveli without any hindrance, reclaiming the property allegedly on the orders of the Supreme Court.
During the operation, the ETPB sealed off seven shops, including the ground floor of Lal Haveli, AML’s public secretariat, guest room, political sitting room, Rashid’s bedroom on the second floor, hall and other rooms were sealed during the operation.
‘Hearing of plea against Lal Haveli sealing’
Meanwhile, Justice Chaudhry Muhammad Iqbal of the same court rejected the request to immediately de-seal Sh Rashid’s residence Lal Haveli.
Instead, the court fixed the matter for hearing on September 26 and summoned the Punjab Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) chairperson and Rawalpindi deputy administrator, directing them to bring their respective reports on the matter.
The bench directed the petitioner to await the reports of the respective departments before seeking further action.
This petition was brought before Justice Iqbal due to Justice Jawad Hassan being on leave.
The petitioner had submitted that Lal Haveli is owned by Sheikh Rashid’s elder brother Sheikh Siddiqui and was registered in 1988. It is illegal to seal it, argued the petitioner, seeking action against the ETPB chairperson.
Minister goes ‘missing’
Head AML Sheikh Rashid was at his home in a private housing society on the outskirts of Islamabad on Sunday (September 17) when purported Rawalpindi Police personnel along with some plainclothesmen, raided the place and detained him and three others.
Sources in the police revealed that after the arrest, the AML chief was transferred from Islamabad to Rawalpindi, Sheikh Rashid’s native town, amid heightened security.
However, in a statement issued later that night, a spokesperson of the Rawalpindi Police denied the arrest and claimed Rashid was not in their custody.
Shortly after, Rashid’s lawyer, Sardar Abdul Razzaq, issued a video statement, asserting that Rawalpindi Police had indeed detained his client from his residence in the Lohi Bher area.