Jail authorities ordered to allow relatives to meet MQM’s detained workers

KARACHI: Sindh High Court on Tuesday directed Karachi Central Jail’s authorities to allow relatives of Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s detained workers to meet them in prison as per prison rules.

A division bench, headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto, gave this directing while disposing of a petition filed by MQM leader, Gulfraz Khan, against the Rangers personnel for raiding the party headquarters and arresting party workers.

The petitioner had submitted that the paramilitary troops raided Nine Zero, MQM’s headquarters, in Azizabad area and Khursheed Begum Memorial Secretariat on March 11 and whisked away its as many as 110 workers, including senior party leader Amir Khan and other party activists.

The petitioners said that Rangers personnel ransacked the party offices situated at the secretariat and took away licensed weapons provided by a private security firm and Rs3.5 million from welfare and aid fund.

Naming home secretary, IGP Sindh, Rangers director general, Karachi police chief, head of CID and SIU branches of Sindh Police and Azizabad police station’s SHO as respondents, the petitioner requested the court to declare confinement of the workers as illegal and direct paramilitary force to produce them in court. The court was requested to quash the FIRs registered against the detainees.

During previous hearing, the families of the detainees had complained to the court that they were not being allowed to meet their loved ones in prison. The court was pleaded to direct the authorities concerned to allow them to meet the detainees.

On Monday, the Rangers’ Major Ashfaque Ahmed submitted a report, stating that on March 2015 the paramilitary forces after receiving information about presence of criminals and huge quantity of weapons in vicinity of the MQM headquarters, carried out raid. During raid 108 persons were arrested and huge qquantity of different arms were recovered. Out of the 108, 26 person were found involved in possession of illegal weapons and explosive material. Whereas 23 were released and 59 suspects were detained under 11EEEE of the ATA 1997 for the period of 90 days. Joint Investigation Team (JIT) reports of these suspects were being prepared.

Taking on record the report, the court directed the Karachi Central Jail’s authorities to allow the detainees’ families to meet them accordance with prison rules.

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