Punjab IG says convicted assassin’s statement implicating law minister in murders ‘not important’


Punjab Police Inspector General (IG) Mushtaq Sukhera has put Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah in the clear in the Bholla Gujjar murder case, saying that the statement of convicted assassin Naveed alias Commando holds no importance, as he had not given any such statement before the investigation team.

The IG said that Naveed had given his statement before the joint investigation team and a report had been prepared. He claimed that police was not giving any favour to Minister Rana Sanaullah.

Meanwhile, Sanaullah himself has denied having any links with Naveed, saying that he had not even talked to him on the phone let alone met him before.

“What could be the credibility of a statement coming from a person who has been carrying a label of proclaimed offender for the past 15 years?” he questioned and said that Bholla Gujjar was like a brother to him.

Sanaullah said Naveed Commando’s statement would only gain credibility if endorsed by the witnesses of the case. He said the witnesses and details of the trial’s proceedings are available which explain why this murder took place. Statements of Bholla Gujjar’s brother and relatives should also be obtained to cross verify the murderer’s claims, he added.

He said two suspects have already been awarded death sentence while two others got life imprisonment in the case on the basis of evidence. The minister said if facts can be dug out through investigation then such a probe must be undertaken.

Back in the day, Station House Officer (SHO) Rana Farrukh Waheed was considered a close ally of the law minister and had been deputing as SHO in different police stations of Faisalabad.

When Bholla Gujjar was assassinated, Rana Farrukh Waheed was acting SHO of Police Station Madina Town Faisalabad. When his (Rana Farrukh Waheed) involvement in the murder came to light, he fled to London.

It is worth mentioning here that  Sub-Inspector Rana Farrukh Waheed on one hand worked for Rana Sanaullah and on other hand was given awards by various civil and social organisations.

Moreover, a top police official told local media that Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif had ordered the constitution of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the case, but it has not happened so far.

When Naveed confessed that he had acted on the will of the minister, police officials did not make the confessional statement public on purpose. He also informed the court that after assassinating Bholla Gujjar, he submitted the weapon (Kalashnikov) used in the murder in Sanaullah’s political secretariat and informed him on Viber about the incident.

The confession only came to light on the last day when the court has already announced its verdict.

The court directed an SP rank police officer to conduct an inquiry from Rana Sanaullah in light of the confessional statement.

On the other hand, the Punjab government has started to defend its cabinet member without studying the court verdict. Zaeem Qadri, a spokesperson of Punjab government said that Rana Sanaullah was innocent.

Assassin Naveed alias Commando was given the death sentence for killing Asghar Ali aka Bholla Gujjar and his driver on January 8.