Abuse of power: Four cops suspended after teen dies in custody

Published: March 4, 2012

He was taken to the police station for questioning about a motorcycle theft, the motorcycle had already been recovered. PHOTO: REUTERS/ FILE

LODHRAN: 

Four policemen were suspended by senior superintendent of police (Investigation) on Saturday after a teenager  died in police custody, allegedly from torture.

These officials were identified as Investigation Officer Akhtar Abbas, Head Constables Mumtaz Ahmed and Niaz Ahmed and Constable Omar Farooq.

An FIR was also registered against them and the SSP directed police to arrest the accused.

The family of 18-year-old boy, who died on Friday night staged a demonstartion on Saturday and blocked the highway in Lodhran to protest against the police.

They placed the body on Kehror Pakka-Mailsi Road and burned tyres.

The protesters calmed down when some police officers reminded them that the policemen accused of torture had been suspended and assured them that disciplinary action would be taken against them.

Ghulam Fareed, father of the deceased boy, Omar, said that some Kehror Pakka police officials had come to his house on Friday morning and told him that his son had been named in a motorcycle theft complaint, filed by Omar’s employer, Muhammad Kabeer.

He said they told him that the motorcycle had already been recovered but they needed to take Omar to the police station for questioning.

“They said it was just a formality,” Fareed said.

He said they stopped him from accompanying the boy.

Fareed said that when Omar did not return in the evening, he sent his elder son Qaisar Abbas to the police station with food for Omar. He said at the police station, the officials told him to bring Omar some clothes and told him that Omar was not well.

“He went back with the clothes… They sent him back again telling him to come in the morning,” Fareed said.

He said he received a phone call at around 2 pm to inform him that Omar had died and that the body was at the District Headquarters Hospital in Lodhran. He said at the hospital, they were told the body had been sent for a post mortem examination.

“When we finally received the body, it had cuts and bruises all over it,” he said.

The hospital administration said that the body had been brought from Kehror Pakka tehsil headquarters hospital.

At the THQ hospital, Medical Officer Qamar Hafeez told The Tribune that Omar had been brought to the hospital at 4 pm on Friday. He said he was vomiting. He gave him an injection and sent him back, the medical officer said.

“He was brought back at 10 pm. This time his condition was worse. He was unconscious. “He died soon after,” Hafeez said.

He said the policemen, who had brought him, abandoned the body at the hospital. One of the doctors, he said, then called Deputy Superintendent of Police Nawazish Ali Bukhari, who sent the body to the DHQ hospital for an autopsy.

District Police Officer Agha Yousuf told The Tribune that torture had not been established yet.

He said that the boy had apparently had some heart disease and was also a drug addict. He said the post mortem report was awaited.

Fareed, the father of the deceased, said that his son was neither a heart patient nor a drug addict. He said that his son had died from police torture.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 4th, 2012. 

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