July 25, 2022
LAHORE: The Capital City Police Officer (CCPO), DIG Bilal Saddique Kamyana has formed a joint investigation team (JIT) to probe the high-profile assassination of Ashraf Rahi, Secretary of the Punjab Bar Council which took place in the city.
Police have decided to investigate cases of fake law degrees believing that these may have had possible links with Ashraf Rahi’s murder as the lawyer had also been pursuing legal action against several ‘fake’ members of the community.
Rahi was gunned down by two unidentified assailants on a motorcycle on July 23, as he was travelling from his office on Fane Road to his Badami Bagh residence in his car. The CCPO Lahore had stated that initial police investigation had revealed that Rahi had been pursuing legal proceedings against several individuals, after the provincial bar council had exposed cases of over 100 fake law degrees of lawyers.
Police to probe links with fake degrees scam
“We are shifting our entire focus towards the fake degree scam, as Ashraf Rahi had been receiving serious death threats for leading these criminal proceedings against the fraudsters in the legal fraternity,” Kamyana had said.
Speaking to Voicepk, Syed Jaffer Tayyar Bukhari, the vice-chairman of Punjab Bar Council, said a delegation of the council met with the CCPO in his office regarding the investigation in Rahi’s murder. “The CCPO has formed a joint investigation team (JIT), headed by DIG Investigations Kamran Adil, in the murder case,” Bukhari said. A police team will also be examining the footage from the Punjab Safe City Authority’s closed-circuit cameras around the crime scene to identify and track the movement of the two suspects.
Bukhari clarified that Ashraf Rahi was not directly involved in the council’s proceedings relating to fake law degrees.
“The matter of fake degrees is handled by the executive committee and the anti-corruption committee of the council,” he said, adding that Ashraf Rahi was not a member of either of the committees. However, he said that Rahi did represent the council in such matters in his capacity as its secretary.
“At present it is too early to say whether the fake law degrees could be one of many factors behind the murder as police investigation is still ongoing,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz has also sought a report from the CCPO and has ordered him to ensure the immediate arrest of the culprits. Expressing his sympathy and condolences with the family members of the slain lawyer, the CM assured them of provision of justice at the earliest.