Misuse of authority

February 28, 2018

It is not rare that unfortunate cases of misuse of authority by powerful state institutions keep emerging. Last week another such case surfaced in the media when allegedly officials of Federal Investigation Agency severely misused the authority while investigating a person belonging to a religious minority.
The Cyber Crime Cell of FIA Lahore was interrogating Patras Masih, eighteen years old, accused of committing blasphemy along with his cousin, Said Masih, when later decided to jump off from the 4th floor of building because he was being tortured and asked to sexually assault his cousin.
After jumping off from the building Sajid Masih received serious injuries with fractured legs and a broken jaw but surprisingly survived to tell his shocking story of ill-treatment by FIA officials. Sajid, in a statement alleged that the officials of FIA had tortured him. “They asked me to call myself a “Laanti” and sexually assault my cousin. Sajid called himself “Laanti (cursed)” but refused to have sex with his cousin and jumped off the building.” Another injustice in the whole story was witnessed when on the complaint of FIA, police also registered attempt to suicide case against the alleged blasphemy suspect.
FIA officials have rejected the allegations and said that they were just investigating the suspect and asked for password of his mobile phone but he attempted to commit suicide by jumping off the building. It seems officials are trying to cover up their misuse of authority as their side of the story is hardly making any sense. It is beyond common sense to believe that a person would jump off from a building just to not tell the password of his mobile phone.
It seems clear that few officials of investigating agency have misused the powers authorized by state. Director General of FIA has ordered investigation against officials who are allegedly involved in putting Sajid in such a position that he preferred jumping off from the agency’s office building. It is hoped that no biasness would take place in the investigating process as credibility of organizations is always more vital than securing few individuals involved in misusing the given authority. If officials are proven guilty, strict action must be taken against them.
Each individual accused of any crime is guaranteed the right of a free trial by the court even if the person is being tried under the Anti-terrorism Act. Courts should decide fate of any suspect or criminal but it is unfortunate that in some cases investigating agencies try to take up the role of judiciary.
If proven guilty, stringent action must be taken against culprits.

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