Khanewal police have been accused of holding over two dozen people, most of them between the age of 15 and 25 years, in illegal custody in connection with the recent power riots.
Residents of Makhdoom Pur Pahuran area have alleged that the police arrested at least three dozen people but presented only nine before a judicial magistrate.
These nine were sent to a jail on a two-day judicial remand.
Relatives of those arrested on Thursday said the police had arrived in two vans which they filled with people picked at random, without there being any evidence against them.
The FIR registered with Makhdoom Pur Pahuran police mentions 209 people, of which, 59 are identified.
Abdul Sattar said his 13-year-old son was among the group of children picked up from the street next to his house in Makhdoompur. Sharif Din said his 14-year-old son Faisal was also picked up by the police without any evidence against him.
Ghulam Farid has been identified among the rioters. The police, however, took his son Hamza Farid, 14, during the Thursday’s raid.
SHO Javed Gaadi rejected that the police were holding anyone in illegal custody. He said he had arrested only the people identified as rioters by his informers.
Khanewal District Police Officer Waqar Abbasi expressed ignorance about the arrests and said that he would look into the matter to ensure that innocent people were not picked up by the police.
Meanwhile, dozens of people, including residents of Makhdoompur Paharan, protested against the police for failure to take action over the killing of a child during one of the demonstrations against outages.
They said the police were allegedly protecting Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority Chairman Hamid Yaar Hiraj’s cousin, Nasir Hiraj, and eight others accused of shooting the child.
Khanewal City acting SHO Malik Shafiq rejected the allegation that police were protecting any of the suspects. He said Hiraj and others were not being arrested because they had obtained pre-arrest bails from a court.
100 sent on judicial remand in Gujranwala
As many as 100 people arrested from Kamoke were sent on a judicial remand to Gujranwala central jail on Friday.
Their relatives said they had nothing to do with the riots and were arrested without any evidence.
Relatives of those arrested protested against the police for picking up their children without any evidence.
Families of Tanveer Ahmed, a Salamatpura resident; Atif Ashfaq, a Chati Street resident; and Shaikh Shahzad and his cousin who was visiting the family from Lahore said they were arrested from markets near their houses on Wednesday.
DSP City (Circle In charge) Muhammad Afzal admitted that there was no evidence against the people arrested on charges of damaging Water and Power Development Authority property.
Wazirabad police have arrested five people on Pakistan Railways complaint in the arson attack on a train during one of the riots.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2012.
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