A prisoner stabbed another in the lock-up at the Cantonment Courts while a mob thrashed the friend of two murder accused at the Sessions Court in further examples of security lapses at the city’s courts on Saturday.
At the Cantt Courts, Waheed Butt attacked Ali Nawaz alias Bhola with a paper cutter when they were placed in the lock-up after attending court proceedings in separate murder cases, said a police source. He said that Butt believed that Nawaz had arranged for his brother’s murder, a crime for which Nawaz was acquitted, and this was a revenge attack.
Nawaz suffered multiple gashes and shallow stab wounds on his neck, arms and back. Police guards at the judicial lock-up did not notice the fight initially, as it was normal for the prisoners to raise a hue and cry. They were persuaded of the seriousness of the situation when a prisoner shouted “Blood, blood!” and waved a bloody hand, the source said.
The police officials were initially reluctant to enter the lock-up to remove the injured man, as some prisoners were threatening to kill them if they came into the cell, said the source. He said some visitors were also in the room to meet family members. They were evacuated from the area.
More police officials were called in and they managed to bring the injured prisoner out safely. He was taken to Services Hospital, where he was in surgery at the time that this report was filed.
The source said that Nawaz would likely make it through the operation, after which the police would take his statement and likely register an attempted murder case against Butt under Section 324 of the Pakistan Penal Code.
Meanwhile at the Sessions Court, Additional District and Sessions Judge Muhammad Naeem directed the Islampura station house officer (SHO) to register a case against more than 50 men for beating up a visitor.
Mirza Shabbir Khalid had gone to the Sessions Court to visit Muhammad Sadaqat and Muhammad Mazhar, who are accused of murder. Witnesses told The Express Tribune that Khalid was standing just inside a courtroom when some men grabbed him and dragged him outside. They beat him up and some of them were heard suggesting that they take Khalid to a private property for further thrashing.
The witnesses said that the police officials deployed at the Sessions Court did not step forward to protect Khalid. Instead, some lawyers tried to pacify the attackers.
The counsel for the accused and others later assembled at the judge’s chamber to protest and demanded that he direct the SHO concerned to register a case against the men who had attacked Khalid. The judge called security and ordered protection for the accused on their way back to the lock-up so that they were not attacked. He also directed the counsel for the accused to submit an application against the attackers.
Khalid later submitted an application stating that Yasir, Safdar Shah, Azizullah, Sohna and some 50 unidentified people had attacked and injured him and stolen his wallet containing Rs20,000 and his mobile phone.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2012.
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