An inquiry was launched on Monday against five policemen accused of torturing a robbery suspect to death.
An FIR was lodged against Inspector Muhammad Iqbal, Sub Inspector Muhamad Riaz and three unidentified constables after a protest demonstration by dozens of relatives of the deceased, Muhammad Ramazan, a resident of Chak 18. The protesters placed the body at Thana Chowk and blocked it for traffic for five hours. The demonstration ended after a former union council nazim intervened and negotiated with Bhalwal police on behalf of the family of the deceased. The negotiation culminated in the registration of the FIR.
Ramazan’s widow told the media that she had found him lying unconscious outside their house early morning on Monday. She said some neighbours helped her take Ramazan to a hospital where he later died. She alleged that Ramazan had been taken away by a police team a couple of days ago without an arrest warrant.
Police, however, rejected the allegation. Deputy Superintendent of Police Ahsan Chohan said he was wanted in 46 robberies in Sargodha and Mandi Bahauddin. He said he must have been killed during a robbery. Superintendent of Police (headquarters) Pervaiz Bandial said a fair inquiry would be carried out against the policemen. He said the body of the deceased had been sent to the district headquarters (DHQ) hospital for a post mortem examination.
Separately, chief minister Shahbaz Sharif took notice of the protest and ordered an inquiry into the incident.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2012.