Kharal sent to jail after arrest in Sukkur HYDERABAD: A judicial magistrate on Saturday remanded Asad Kharal, a suspect wanted by the National Accountability Bureau and law-enforces in some corruption and criminal cases, into judicial custody for 14 days. The suspect was produced before the magistrate at the Sukkur district and sessions court on charges of possessing illicit arms, obstructing officials in the discharge of their duties and hitting a police van.
Kharal, said to be an associate of Tariq Siyal, the brother of Home Minister Suhail Anwar Siyal, was taken into custody by law-enforcers in a raid on his Larakana house in the early hours of July 13 but was taken away by his sympathisers, who had gathered outside in a large number.
The team of the Abad police station in Sukkur showed his arrest late on Friday evening and booked him in two separate cases, one registered under sections 427 and 353 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) in FIR No 69/16 and in FIR No 70/16 under Section 23-A of the Arms Act, 2013.
Abad SHO Khalid Memon, who is the complainant of the cases, stated that Kharal was arrested on Friday-Saturday night while he was driving his car along Sukkur-Shikarpur Road. He claimed that the suspect was found in possession of an illicit weapon for which a separate case was registered against him, besides the main case pertaining to causing obstruction in official discharge of duty.
Sukkur SSP Amjad Shaikh claimed late on Friday evening that Kharal was arrested by the Abad police during snap checking by police and Rangers personnel. “We had prior information about him and during snap checking he tried to escape and hit a van on the road that was parked on the road as a barrier,” he said.
There have been multiple versions of Kharal’s arrest over the past 48 hours.
A police source in Hyderabad had claimed a couple of days back that Kharal had surrendered himself before the Hyderabad police through Home Minister Siyal and was eventually handed over to the Rangers authorities.
Private TV channels ran breaking news after Rangers officials confirmed Kharal’s arrest in the by-pass area of Qasimabad but they wouldn’t go on record for various reasons. Hyderabad SSP Irfan Baloch, however, denied having any knowledge of the arrest by the Rangers having been made within his jurisdiction until Thursday.
“Asad was not that important for them [Rangers] but the media had created a hype [in this case],” said a police officer insisting that Kharal was picked up in Hyderabad five days back by the Rangers. The officer claimed that Kharal had stayed with his close relatives serving in the Hyderabad police, one of them being an SHO, but conceded that “he [Kharal] is officially shown arrested in Sukkur”.
Earlier, Rangers officials claimed that Kharal was “wanted for facilitating at least a dozen suspects including the eight criminals who carried head-money”.
It was reported in the media that Rangers personnel had taken Kharal into custody on July 13 in Larkana and shifted him to the Civil Lines police station for investigation. His supporters led by certain “influential people” associated with the ruling PPP created a dramatic situation that led to his escape. The report also suggested that influential people along with the area police mistreated the raiding team.
The paramilitary force had conceded in a statement that “influential aides to the suspect [Kharal] intervened and put hurdles in Rangers’ work”.
At one stage, Kharal’s escape had become a bone of contention between Rangers and the Sindh government after the latter objected to the paramilitary force’s act of crossing its defined jurisdiction to carry out the raid outside Karachi division. Rangers Director General Major General Bilal Akbar insisted that his force could go to any part of the province to chase criminals. His response invited ire of Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah who again explained that Rangers could exercise their special powers for carrying out raids and making arrests only within Karachi division.
Apparently to sort out the matter, Karachi Corps Commander Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar held a meeting with the chief minister at CM House on Friday and discussed various issues at length.
A couple of meetings between PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and CM Shah, along with some cabinet members, were also held in this context.