ISLAMABAD - The inquiry report of the incident of alleged manhandling of Maneka family has revealed that no evidence was brought or found on record to substantiate the allegation of malafide on part of police.
A 50-page inquiry report submitted before the Supreme Court said no evidence was found that the family of Khawar Maneka, the ex-spouse of first lady Bushra Khan, was singled out or intentionally targeted during the incidents that took place on August 5 and 23. The report said that visit of former District Police Officer (DPO) Rizwan Gondal to Chief Minister Usman Budar Officer on the night of August 24 was clearly outside the ambit of the inquiry.
It also stated that no authority including the Regional Police Officer (RPO) or the Inspector General of Police (IGP) ever directed former DPO Gondal to go to the Dera of complainant Khawar Maneka for apology.
“His (Gondal’s) supplementary statement on August 29 further exacerbates the matter as he has mentioned his visit to the Chief Minister office on the night of August 24 which is clearly outside the ambit of this inquiry.” The inquiry report, however, recommended that criminal action should be initiated against Maneka if it was proven beyond doubt at any later stage that he hurled abuses at police.
A day ago, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar had taken suo moto notice of the controversial transfer of DPO Pakpattan Rizwan Gondal and directed IGP Kalim Imam to come up along with the inquiry report in the matter prepared for the prime minister. The inquiry was conducted by Additional IGP (Investigation) Abubakar Khudabakhs on the two incidents that occurred on August 5 and 23 wherein police allegedly manhandled first lady’s daughter and son, and her ex-spouse respectively.
The inquiry report in its findings stated that Maneka himself praised behaviour of Inspector Faisal Abbas and Lady Constable in the first incident.
Even on the night of August 5 Pakpattan police acted in good faith for providing security to Maneka’s son and daughter, considering the lady to be Bushra Bibi (the ‘would be’ first lady), it added.
The patrolling police officials were expecting the arrival of Bushra Khan. On seeing a young lady and a boy walking, they tried to stop them to check their identity and asked them about their whereabouts and reason of walking there at that time of the night.
These officials could have avoided this untoward happening by asking this question from the persons present in Vigo pickup or focusing Ibrahim Maneka only and not physically stopping the lady at that point.
“Similarly, had Ibrahim Maneka politely introduced himself to the patrolling police officials on the query, the unfortunate incident could have been avoided.”
The inquiry report in its findings stated that Sub Inspector Tariq behaved very professionally and intelligently and defused this situation despite explosive attitude of Khawar Maneka.
“In normal circumstances, the conduct of Mr Khawar Maneka cannot be justified as it amounts to interfering in police work.”
The report added that had Maneka or his son Ibrahim visited the DPO office as per their understanding with DPO, the matter could have been resolved there and then.
“Likewise, the DPO was duty bound to carry out an inquiry and fix fault on the defaulters or otherwise. As mentioned earlier, this had been brought to his notice on the morning of August 6 by his Security In-charge SI Asif Sarwar.” The report stated that RPO and IGP were not informed regarding the first incident.
The version of Maneka regarding misbehaviour of police on the night of August 23 by the Elite Police officials and the counter version of the police officials about jumping the picket point and subsequent extreme abusive language by him remains inconclusive.
The reason for inconclusiveness is that the complainant party did not want to be part of the process of cross-questioning during this inquiry, according to the inquiry report.
The report stated that Gondal showed slackness adding that had he taken proper notice of the first incident and identified the actual nature of problems, the misunderstanding between the complainant and the district police could have been averted.
Similarly, the DPO himself admitted that he was never ever directed by the IGP, RPO or anyone from police command to go the Dera of Maneka.
The inquiry report stated that the half of the incident related to a make-shift police picket. It is recommended that the police across the province should adopt standardised picketing setup. In the case at hand, some officials of Punjab Highways Patrol have been found at fault and departmental proceedings are under way, report added.
However, it is recommended that DPOs must be directed to have close liaison with the Punjab Highway Patrol units within jurisdiction of their district.
The DPOs across the province should be directed to take necessary legal action in case of dire threats to the police to establish the writ of the government.
SYED SABEEHUL HUSSNAIN