LAHORE: Chief Justice Lahore High Court (LHC) Muhammad Ameer Bhatti on Monday ordered the police to recover journalist Imran Riaz Khan and issued a warning to the IG Police Punjab of serious consequences if any harm was caused to the missing Youtuber.
Inspector General of Punjab Police (IGP) Usman Anwar, appearing before the court in a Habeas Corpus petition by Imran’s father Riaz, denied having raided the Lahore residence of Imran Riaz before his arrest from Sialkot airport.
He told the court that the alleged missing anchorperson was not in the custody of police in any city of the country. “Police of entire Pakistan have been asked about the custody of Imran Riaz but his whereabouts are still unknown,” he said.
The judge observed that all federal and provincial law enforcement agencies were bound to recover a missing citizen under the law. He directed the ministries of defence and interior to utilize all available resources and find out the whereabouts of the missing broadcaster.
The IGP pleaded the court that it should also summon the secretaries of defence and interior ministries for better coordination with the police in the recovery of the missing broadcaster. The habeas corpus petition sought recovery of the youtuber from the alleged illegal custody of police.
Petitioner’s counsel Azhar Siddique Advocate alleged that Imran Riaz was detained in Lahore. He said the same personnel raided the Lahore house of the anchorperson and later arrested him from Sialkot. However, the IGP rejected the allegation of the petitioner’s counsel and maintained that the alleged missing anchorperson was not in the police custody.
Chief Justice Bhatti warned the IGP of serious consequences if any harm was caused to Imran Riaz. The chief justice adjourned further hearing till May 25. Police admitted to have arrested Riaz on May 11 from Sialkot airport and shifted him to jail.
The police claimed the whereabouts of the anchorperson were unknown since his release from the jail following the withdrawal of his detention order by the government.