Court sends Perveen Rehman murder suspect to jail

Naimat Khan

KARACHI: An Anti Terrorism Court in Karachi sent Amjad Hussain, a suspect in Perveen Rehman murder case, to jail on judicial remand here on Tuesday.

The court turned down request by the investigating officer (IO) to extend the physical remand of accused for further investigation.

Rehman, who was the Director of the Orangi Pilot Project (OPP), was gunned down by four men in a targeted attack near the Banaras fly-over in Orangi Town in March 2013. She was a vocal activist working against land and water mafia in the city.

Khan was arrested from Karachi’s Mangophir vicinity, on the directives of the Supreme Court issued on October 10.

While the authorities have managed to nab Ahmad also known as Pappu Kashmiri, Imran Swati, and Rahim Swati, three suspects named in the case — Moosa, Ayaz Swati, and Shaldar Khan — are on-the-run to date.

In November last year, Rahim had refused to accept the charges against him after he was indicted. Police then claimed that Swati was leader of Awami National Party (ANP) who had also association with TTP Swat.

Rahim Khan Swati, who was prime accused in murder of director Orangi Pilot Project (OPP), was arrested from Manghopir area of the city, SSP West Ghulam Azfar Mahesar told media here at news conference.

Mahesar told that it very difficult task to trace and arrest Swati as he was using several methods, including keeping different SIM cards to escape the arrest.

“Dozens of suspects involved in land grabbing, tanker mafia and extortion were also arrested for investigation by a joint interrogation team (JIT),” he further revealed.

The director of the Orangi Pilot Project was gunned down in a drive-by shooting near Banaras Flyover on March 13, 2013. The next day police claimed to have ‘resolved’ the case by killing Qari Bilal, a commander of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan in an encounter. They said Qari Bilal was the “mastermind”.

Another Bilal alias Tension, associated with MQM, was also taken into custody but he was freed by court for lack of evidences against him.

The people associated with project didn’t subscribe to the police view point on the case and forced them through apex court to start search of the real culprits. Subsequently, in March 2015, the police claimed to have arrested Ahmed Khan alias Pappu Kashmiri, from Mansehra in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Criminal son of a Prayer leader in one of the Banaras’s mosque, Kashmiri disclosed the name of Rahim Swati, who is former information secretary of Awami National Party (ANP), district West, Karachi.

Swati, who was living near the Orangi Pilot Project (OPP) head office, was once accused by Parveen Rehman of threatening her over the matters related to lands of the project.

Although Rahim Swati was very close to Bashir Jan, the ANP Sindh General Secretary, who has not applied for asylum in the US state of California, and was active local leader, a party spokesperson said those involved in case must be doing things as ‘individual act’. “Several criminals use the party name as an umbrella to cover up their crimes but ANP kicks them out once they are found guilty,” he said.

A leader of ANP in Metroville, however, told this scribe that Swati was never abandoned by his party until he absconded in the case after revelation of Ahmed Kashmiri.

Sources in West Zone police told that police will interrogate whether Swati was doing all this on his own or he enjoyed the patronage of party leaders. “Police will also look into whether Swati had quietly switched to Taliban,” official said.

When this scribe asked from Deputy Inspector General Police (DIGP) West Zone, Feroz Shah, whether Swati was still associated with ANP and if he had joined Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan – who were also having major share in land grabbing and illegal hydrant business – he said SSP West Ghulam Azfar Mahesar will respond.

Mahesar, however, didn’t respond to call upon which the question was texted to him but the Senior Superintend of Police didn’t respond till filing of this report.