Residents protest district police chief's detention
HERAT CITY (PAN): Dozens of residents of Shindand district in eastern Herat province on Sunday staged a rally against the detention of a district police chief in the kidnap-slaying incident of a nine-year-old boy.
The demonstrators, who gathered in Azizabad area, called for the Injil district police chief, also a resident of Shindand, to be released, saying he had been falsely implicated in the case.
Ali Sina, the son of local industrialist Nasir Ahmad Noori, was killed last year after being kidnapped, despite the payment of ransom by his family.
Police had arrested eight suspects, including two women, in the case. A primary court sentenced two of the accused to death and handed down jail sentences ranging from six years to 20 years to the rest.
Two suspects were found not guilty and released. The Injil police chief and two other policemen have since been in detention for interrogations over alleged complicity.
Herat police chief, Brig. Gen. Rahmatullah Sapi, had earlier said the police officers had been held for interrogations and would be released if found innocent.
But the protesting residents said the district police chief had been put behind bars under pressure from powerful circles. They insisted the police officer, a resident of Shindand, had no role in kidnapping and killing Ali Sina.
"We are not with kidnappers. We want justice for those held without a trial," the protestors said.
Sina had allegedly been kidnapped with the abetment of his father's bodyguard in late December. His dead body was found in Injil in late January.
His father had said the kidnappers initially sought $400,000 in return for his son's release, but the amount was negotiated down to $90,000.
He paid that amount but his son was killed and buried by the captors to conceal their identities. The incident has sparked huge demonstrations in Herat.
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