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SC orders IGP Punjab to arrest accused in car race crash

ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court on Monday expressed displeasure over lenient approach of Punjab police in arresting accused of a drag race organizers in Rawalpindi and ordered their chief to arrest all the four and submit a report on Tuesday.

The car race had resulted in loss of five lives last week.The three-judge bench also expressed its concern over the scale of apathy of civil administration Rawalpindi over the tragic incident.

The bench of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday hearing a suo motu case noted, “prima facie it indicates that without the blessing of police officers it was not possible for the organizers of the race to hold the event.”

The bench observed that a perusal of the case indicated that there was no progress so far and police even had no knowledge of the cars and participants of the race. Imdad Ullah Bosal, DCO Rawalpindi, apprised the bench that he had “refused” to grant permission to the organizers. PTCL was also among them, to hold the race when Atif Sheikh applied for an NOC, he added.

Similarly, the DIG special branch had also denied permission of the race. However, it was CPO Rawalpindi Fakhar Sultan, who issued security plan of the event and the race took place. The Bahria Town management had issued a provisional approval for holding a race, the bench was told.

The DCO stated that Safdar Salim Ullah, a representative of Bahria Town, had told his staff that the venue of race had been changed from Bahria Town Rawalpindi to Islamabad. However, the race was held at the same place Bahria Town Phase VIII.

Replying to a question, the CPO conceded that he had not visited the place of accident and was unaware about other details of the case.

“You issued the security plan without knowing whether the organizers had attained the NOC from the administration,” observed the Chief Justice. Justice Ramday remarked “you (CPO Rawalpindi) are an abettor of these five murders.”

The court also grilled the RPO for not taking any action saying that he should have not allowed happening all that in the absence of permission.

“Have you arrested Chief Executive of Bahria Town?” was the question of the CJ for which no one among the administration had any answer.

The court was told that Atif Sheikh, an organizer had got a bail before arrest. Tariq Saleem Dogar, IG Punjab Police stated that the rally had no legal permission and it should have been stopped by the administration. Earlier on Friday, the court had taken suo motu notice of the death of five people including children during a car race in Rawalpindi last Sunday.

“Stately, loss has been caused to the lives of five persons, including a teenager child who along with his family members was present at the site and apparently so far no legal action has been initiated against the responsible persons thus above note be treated as Petition under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” said the order issued by the Chief Justice.

On December 5, five spectators of a drag race that took place in Phase VIII of Bahria Town, were killed when one of the cars skidded off the road and ran them over. Driver of the car, Muhammad Majid Khan, reportedly a senior manager of national telecom giant had managed to escape from the scene.

Four people Daniyal Khan, Babar Khan, Sohail Khan and Colonel (Retired) Mohsin Khan died on the spot, while Asfand Yar was pronounced dead upon reaching the hospital. A woman Jamana Khan and a minor child Hamza Iqbal suffered injuries and were shifted to the nearby Safari hospital.

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