Parween Rehman Murder Case: SC Says LEAs Are Helpless Before Land, Water Mafias
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC), while hearing a case on Monday about the 2013 murder of social worker Parween Rehman, reprimanded the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) for being “helpless before land and water mafias”.
While hearing the case, Justice Ijazul Ahsan said, “This issue is turning into a complete mystery.” He also said that he had no clue what the LEAs were doing to solve the six-year-old case.
The three-member bench, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial asked the head of the joint investigation team (JIT) Babar Quresihi about the findings of the case. Qureishi informed the court that no major developments had taken place and requested the court to give the JIT more time to investigate the case.
The official also told the court that the JIT could not obtain any data in regard to the case since the incident happened six years ago.
On this, Justice Ahsan told Qureishi that the case had been constituted because LEAs had failed to do their job.
“What have LEAs been doing since 2013? Are the mafias really beyond their reach?” the judge questioned. He also said, “Mafias have killed social workers in the past as well.”
Later, the court granted Qureishi two months to wrap up the investigation and directed him to submit an initial report within three weeks.
In June, it emerged that the investigators were still busy collecting “basic forensic and circumstantial evidence” in connection to the murder case as two joint investigation teams reportedly overlooked basic data to resolve the murder mystery.
After this disclosure was made in an interim report filed in the apex court, after the slain social worker’s sister Aquila Ismail submitted an application requesting reinvestigation of the case by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
Parween Rehman was shot dead near her office in Orangi Town in 2013. She had dedicated her entire life to serve the poor living in underdeveloped neighbourhoods of the country.
One day after her murder, police killed a Taliban operative, namely Qari Bilal, in an encounter and claimed that he was responsible for killing Rehman. As a result, the case was closed by police.
In April 2014, the SC ordered the authorities concerned to conduct a fresh probe into the social worker’s murder case after a judicial inquiry had revealed that police officers had tampered with the investigation report.
In 2018, a JIT report had explained three possible theories highlighting the motive behind Rehman’s murder, including involvement of jihadi elements who opposed the social worker’s initiative, the illegal water and hydrant mafia active in the city and organised criminal groups involved in land-grabbing as Rehman was helping residents of Goth Abad Schemes to secure their land rights.