Perween Rahman murder case: Govt orders arrest of five acquitted suspects

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Karachi: The Sindh government decided to detain five citizens acquitted in the murder of Orangi Pilot Project (OPP) director Perween Rahman on Thursday, citing a police report claiming they were “hardened criminals and an imminent threat to her family and OPP staff.” 

Based on an intelligence report, the Sindh inspector general recommended detaining the acquitted citizens in a letter. While Ms. Rehman’s sister, Aquila Islam (who is now the head of the OPP), welcomed the decision, police officials said the five acquitted citizens had already been released from prison following the high court’s order.

Ms. Aquila Islam, who welcomed the government’s decision, said she and OPP staff had been scared and stressed when they saw the freed suspects moving around near the project office. 

She pointed out that the majority of OPP officers lived in the same neighborhood as the suspects, Orangi. The decision to use the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) to detain these suspects would give us time to file an appeal against their freedom of movement, she added.

The home department issued the following order:

“The IGP Sindh vide a letter dated November 25, 2022, has communicated that five persons are hardened criminals who pose a grave and imminent threat to the family of the deceased Ms. Parveen Rehman (ex-Director Orangi Pilot Project (OPP), especially her sister Ms. Aqila Ismail, who works as Chairperson in OPP and the entire staff of Orangi Pilot Project.”

Further, there is an intelligence report that the life of the family members of Ms. Parveen Rehman, especially her sister, is in danger and the accused persons may disturb peace and tranquility and can create serious law and order problems and such an act on their part will be highly prejudicial to the public safety and maintenance of public order; therefore, IG Sindh has demanded that they may be detained under MPO 1960 for three months at least.

According to the home department order, the Sindh government is satisfied that there are serious concerns about public safety based on the request and the merits of the case. 

“Their custody will be placed under the supervision of the Senior Superintendent of Central Prison, Karachi.”