JIT holds land mafia responsible for Perveen Rehman’s murder

  • Probe team head seeks three weeks’ time from top court to finalise report

ISLAMABAD: Probe into the murder of Perveen Rehman by the interim Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has revealed the involvement of Karachi’s land mafia.

Perveen Rehman, who was a social worker and devoted her life to the development of the impoverished neighbourhoods across the country, was gunned down near her office in Orangi Town on February 13, 2013.

Police in October last year arrested Amjad Hussain, prime accused in the case.

In November 2016, Raheem Swati, a local leader of the Awami National Party who was also involved in various criminal enterprises, was charged with Perveen’s murder and is in jail awaiting trial. Another small-time thug, Ahmed Khan, alias Pappu Kashmiri, who was arrested from Mansehra is also in custody in connection with the case.

The report was submitted in the Supreme Court on Wednesday by a newly-constituted JIT comprising police officials, intelligence agencies, Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), Rangers and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

According to the report, Rehman’s murder was planned by those threatened by her efforts of highlighting the issue of land grabbing and her part in Goth Abad scheme in Sindh’s capital.

The JIT head sought three weeks’ time from the top court to finalise the investigation report as the team wanted to “examine the context of a wider motive behind the killing before the submission of a final report in which it will attempt to find a concrete link between the work that Rehman was doing and the elements or forces that were most affected and impacted by her efforts.”

On February 28, the top court said that it will supervise the progress of the newly-constituted JIT in the Perveen Rehman murder case.

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) had moved the SC against Singh government and others for failing to catch the culprit behind the murder of Rehman, the director of Orangi Pilot Project.

The petition states that there were “material mistakes made by the initial investigating officer as well as the concerned SHO which adversely affected the merits of the investigation”.

Hearing the petition, Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh had observed, “It is an embarrassment for the Sindh government as well as the court that the real culprits could not be identified.”

Addressing the federal and provincial law officers present at the hearing, he had said: “We will keep our eyes on the JIT.”

However, Aqeela, sister of Rehman, who also appeared before the bench, requested the top court to outline a specific time to the JIT to complete its probe.