Inspector Mazhar Iqbal, former head of the Lahore Police’s Narcotics Investigations Unit (NIU), has been dismissed from service by DIG Investigations Lahore for misuse of authority and allegedly robbing over Rs70 million from a citizen.
Earlier this year, Mazhar went into hiding after an FIR was registered by the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) in August, accusing the NIU head of involvement in drug trafficking. According to ANF, a team investigating cross-border drug trafficking through drones had set up a picket on Bedian Road. After midnight, they intercepted a car with two passengers.
Upon seeing the ANF team, one of the suspects, later identified as Mazhar Iqbal, fled the scene. When officials searched the car, they found Rs80 million in cash, a drone and drugs worth millions of rupees among other items.
DIG Imran Kishwar stated that Mazhar had tainted the department’s reputation after being nominated in the aforementioned FIR. He further noted that after the drug smuggling accusations by ANF, Mazhar was suspended and an enquiry committee was formulated to probe the allegations. The former Inspector was summoned multiple times but did not show up.
DIG Kishwar added that the inquiry committee, after conducting a thorough probe into the matter, concluded that Mazhar raided the house of one Ahmed Din alias Dino on July 4 of this year with his staff and abducted him and his family members for ransom at gunpoint. The inquiry committee further added that the Inspector threatened Dino that he would kill his family members in a fake police encounter and received a ransom of Rs72.10 million as ransom. The report further stated that Mazhar looted cash, gold ornaments and other valuables from Din’s residence at gunpoint with the assistance of his nephew Shahzeb.
The stolen items were transported to Mazhar’s residence in Alfalah Town. The inquiry even found domestic utensils among the stolen items.
It was also proven in the inquiry that Mazhar planted 450 grams of heroin on Din to cover up his aforementioned crimes.
Mazhar also directed SI Mushtaq to cover up the escape of the accused Ahmed Din from police custody and to write a fake report in the Daily Diary Register of Police Station Kahna, the inquiry report read. It was also revealed that Mazhar had been suspended 26 times, dismissed from service 8 times and 14 FIRs were registered against him under the allegations of serious offences like murder, drug trafficking, burglaries and armed encounters with law-enforcement agencies.
“All relevant and collected documents have been examined minutely and found that such an officer having stinking bad service record has camouflaged himself to be an efficient police officer by showing fake and exaggerated performance,” the report read. “In view of what has been discussed above, I have come to the just conclusion that his further retention in police department will not only ruin the discipline of the force but also invite other officials to indulge themselves in undesired and inferior activities.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 27th2023.