South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

Published in The Express Tribune, October 30th, 2014:

The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has directed Kohat police to produce investigation records of the disappearance of an Indian national who came to Afghanistan but went missing from Kohat in November 2012.

The directive was issued by the office of the high court’s additional registrar to the then Kohat Development Authority (KDA) police station SHO. The former KDA SHO must produce the record of 28-year-old Nehal Hamid Ansari before November 19, the next date of hearing. Once the replies in the case are completed and the additional registrar issues notices, the case will be heard by a two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel.

On September 9, the court was informed that a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has completed its report and revealed that the missing Indian national stayed at a hotel in Kohat and reserved a room before he went missing after midnight.

During the previous hearing, investigation officer Sajjad Khan informed the court that Nehal had reserved a room in the hotel using a fake computerised national identity card (CNIC). The investigation officer said the man was taken by a police rider squad and since then his whereabouts remained unknown.

Ansari had left for Kabul, Afghanistan on November 4, 2012 on a 90-day tourist visa. He was interested in getting a job in the operations sector of an airline company in Kabul after he failed to get a job with an airline in India. He had, however, promised to return within a week and kept in touch with his father, mother and brother for a week before he disappeared.

After he went missing, his family lodged a complaint with the Versova police station and contacted the Afghanistan consulate in Mumbai. On September 20, Fauzia Ansari, mother of missing Nehal Hamid Ansari, appealed to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene and secure her son’s release.

Missing autopsy reports

In a separate case, the division bench of CJ Miankhel and Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth ordered the official in charge of the Kohat internment centre to produce post-mortem reports of four deceased detainees whose bodies were handed over to their families. The court was hearing 16 petitions filed by family members of missing persons.

Additional Advocate General Qaiser Ali Shah appeared before the court on behalf of the provincial government.

During the hearing, District Jail Kohat superintendent Samiullah and the official in charge of the internment centre, Syed Asif Ali Shah, appeared before the bench and produced reports of the deceased persons. The report included details such as the date of arrest, medical facilities provided to them and dates on which the bodies were handed over to the families.

However, the bench declared the reports insufficient and ordered the officials to produce complete records, including the post-mortem reports.