Qandeel murder: Long arm of the law grabs fleeing Mufti Qavi

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  • CPO dismisses investigation officer for being negligent in performing duty 

 

MULTAN: Police managed to nab Mufti Abdul Qavi from the Punjab Highway on Wednesday after he fled the court following the rejection of his pre-arrest bail application by a Multan’s sessions court in the Qandeel Baloch murder case.

Multan Cantt SP Dr Fahad said police, with the aid of highway authorities, nabbed Qavi while he was travelling to Jhang.

Earlier, the cleric had fled the court with the help of lawyers before District and Sessions Judge Chaudhry Ameer Ahmad Khan announced his decision on the application.

In the aftermath of Qavi’s escape, City Police Officer Muhammad Saleem dismissed the investigation officer (IO), Noor Akbar, of Qandeel murder case over negligence in his duty, police spokesman Fayyaz Hussain said.

In line with orders of the city police officer, the accused sub-inspector was arrested and a case was subsequently registered against him.

Earlier on Tuesday, Mufti Qavi had appeared before the sessions court for the first time in connection with the murder case, however, the court had adjourned the hearing of the case till October 18 on his lawyer’s request.

During the Wednesday’s hearing, the judge, reserved his decision on the bail plea for a few minutes. During this period, a group of lawyers helped Mufti Qavi escape from the court, and he left without talking to reporters.

Later, the judge rejected the application for extension in the cleric’s pre-arrest bail.

The investigating officer was also ordered to arrest Mufti Qavi and submit the challan of the Qandeel murder case in the court soon.

The investigation officer, Noor Akbar, had said that in compliance with court orders police would arrest Mufti Qavi and present him in the court.

While arriving at the court on Tuesday, Mufti Qavi had told journalists that he appeared today, will appear tomorrow and will continue to cooperate with the police and the courts.

“We will accept whatever decision the judiciary announces,” he said at the time.

Police had included Mufti Qavi’s name as a suspect in the murder case of the social media celebrity on the request of her father, Muhammad Azeem, the complainant in the case, who in a statement before the police suspected the cleric’s possible role in her murder.

Judge Ameer Ahmad Khan last week had granted pre-arrest bail to Mufti Qavi shortly after a trial court issued his non-bailable arrest warrants in the Qandeel murder case.

Judicial magistrate Mohammad Pervez had issued the warrants after investigation officer Noor Akbar requested the court to do so on the grounds that the cleric was not cooperating with the police.

The counsel for Mufti Qavi had filed a pre-arrest bail application, soon after the non-bailable warrants were issued, and the judge granted bail against a surety bond of Rs100,000.

Qavi’s membership from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was suspended due to the controversy surrounding the selfies he posed for with Qandeel Baloch. He was also suspended from the Ruet-e-Hilal committee due to the same reason.

Model Qandeel Baloch, who rose to fame for her provocative selfies that polarised Pakistan, was strangled in July by her brother Muhammad Waseem for “bringing shame on the family”. He had confessed to his crime in a press conference after his arrest.

Prior to her death, Baloch, whose real name was Fauzia Azeem, was concerned about her safety and had appealed to the Interior Ministry to provide her with security.

No security was provided and the Interior Ministry has not commented on her death.

Baloch, 26, in Facebook posts, spoke of trying to change “the typical orthodox mindset” of people in Pakistan. She frequently faced abuse and death threats but continued to post provocative pictures and videos.

The ‘honour-killing’ of Qandeel Baloch had sent shockwaves across the country and triggered an outpouring of grief on social media.