Eight police officers have been booked in a murder case and two more suspended after a raid in a Matiari village left one dead and eight, including women, injured.
The police said that they had raided the Bachal Gahelo village to arrest two suspects allegedly involved in several criminal cases. The personnel of four police stations took part in the operation. Fifteen people were also arrested in the raid.
“The people turned on us to free the two suspects and also snatched two policemen’s rifles,” said DSP Shahnawaz Memon, one of the two suspended officers. He claimed that the deceased, identified as 16-year-old Abdul Shakoor Gahelo, was not hit by a police bullet.
To protest the alleged highhandedness of the law enforcers, the village residents blocked the National Highway for seven hours. “The police charged upon our village late in the night, torched four houses, thrashed men and women, and took away more than a dozen people,” said Feroze Gahelo, a village elder.
The protesters only dispersed after being assured that a case will be registered against the policemen responsible.
Due to the blockade, vehicular traffic was suspended on both tracks of the highway and many people complained of being looted by robbers. Muhammad Hashim Bughio, who was driving with his family, said that bandits made away with cash, mobile phones and jewellery while his car was stranded in the traffic jam.
On Sunday, the Khyber police lodged an FIR under section 302 and the Anti-Terrorism Act on the complaint of Muhammad Waseem Gahelo, the father of the slain boy. Apart from DSP Memon, the SHOs of Khyber, Matiari, Jakhri and Bhitshah police stations, a sub-inspector and two assistant sub-inspectors were also nominated in the case. Bhitshah SHO Ali Nawaz Jamali was also suspended along with Memon. The 15 people who were arrested after the raid were released later.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 18th, 2012.