RAWALPINDI: Police have started obtaining fresh ‘surety bonds’ from the suspects who have been put on a list of fourth schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), according to sources.
They said the task of obtaining new bonds from the suspects would be completed within three days.
The sources said the Special Branch had asked the Rawalpindi police to get fresh surety bonds from all the individuals whose names had been put on the watch list. City Police Officer Abbas Ahsan had directed the superintendents of police of Rawal, Potohar and Saddar divisions and all the station house officers to check on the “fourth schedulers” residing in their areas and obtain new bonds from them, according to the sources.
Of the 32 individuals whose names had been placed on the act’s fourth schedule list by the district police, two have been residing in Saudi Arabia.
Under the ATA 1997, every person whose name is placed on the fourth schedule is bound to inform the police before leaving his permanent residence and also upon his/her return to the area.
Such an individual is also bound to submit “surety bond” to his concerned police station, guaranteeing his peaceful conduct. Otherwise, he is supposed to be booked by the police under relevant sections of the ATA.
Meanwhile, a senior police officer said there was no standard operating procedure in place to put the name of every individual arrested by police under sections of the ATA on the fourth schedule list.
He said the divisional intelligence committee decides whether or not to place a suspect’s name on the list, depending upon the nature of his case and his background.
Under an amendment made in the ATA in 2002, the police have been given powers to ask the individuals placed on the list to report their movement to them and they in return could ask the suspects to stay away from institutions such as colleges, schools and restaurants where terrorists might strike.
The police have also been empowered to question their finances on suspicion and also to obtain surety bonds for their peaceful conduct.
Published in Dawn, October 5th, 2018