KARACHI - A trail court on Monday granted bail to a traffic police officer in a case pertaining collection of extortion from a rickshaw driver causing his suicide. 

Investigation Officer (IO) produced assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Muhammad Hanif before a judicial magistrate (South), wherein the IO requested the court to grant his two-day physical remand for further interrogation. The IO stated that the crime record to the accused is yet to be checked.

He has informed the court that a challan book which was recovered by the accused was taken in the custody and the investigation is under-progress.

On Sunday, a rickshaw driver, Khalid had attempted to self- immolate in protest over the alleged extortion by the traffic police ASI Hanif.

The IO has also submitted that the rickshaw-driver had done so after a heated exchange with a traffic warden. He added that the argument with the accused took place in the jurisdiction of the Saddar police station. The rickshaw-driver, who had set himself on fire and sustained serious burn wounds a day prior succumbed to his injuries Sunday night.  The accused filed a bail application which was accepted against surety bonds of Rs100000. However, the accused was not able to pay the amount and was sent to the jail. 

The court directed the IO to continue the investigation on merit without any fear and pressure.

The deceased had sprinkled oil on his body and set himself alight near the city police office in Karachi’s Saddar area on Saturday, saying he was “fed up” with the daily challan and alleged “extortion” by the traffic police.

While talking to the reporters informally after the hearing, the accused denied the charges of collection extortion from the deceased and stated that he had never met him before the incident.

He said that due to the violation of traffic rule he gave the rickshaw driver the smallest penalty of Rs150. “After finished my duty went my home. Later, I got a call from the office and informed about the incident” he claimed, adding that he is satisfied by the investigation so far.