An investigation into the brutal killing of two brothers in Sialkot was launched on Saturday.
Head of the inquiry committee, Kazim Ali Shah, said the report will be sent to the Supreme Court in seven days. Kazim also pointed out that fleeing of the SHO will not impact the investigations into the murders.
Speaking to the media, Mr Kazim said investigations into killings will be impartial and all statements will be listened to. He requested the media to assist in the investigations by presenting a positive outlook to the investigations.
Earlier, Sialkot SHO who was present during the public lynching of two brothers has been allowed to escape.
Meanwhile, Sialkot DPO Waqar Chauhan, SP Investigation and DSP city have been made OSDs for failing to stop the gruesome murders. Six people have been arrested so far.
IG Punjab Tariq Saleem Dogar ordered the action against the police officials after the Supreme Court took a suo moto notice of the incident.
An inquiry committee has been directed to present a report within two days.
Updated from print edition (below)
Police held responsible for mob murders
The murder of two young brothers Hafiz Mueez Butt and Muneeb Butt, who were stoned to death during the week has led to the suspension of 14 policemen.
The suspended officials include SHO Saddar police station inspector Rana Illays, sub inspector (SI) Gulzar Khan, four assistant sub inspectors (ASI) and eight other officials. The police officials were charged with negligence for failing to curb the torture of the two men last Sunday (August 15).
Out of the 14 men accused of negligence, five have been arrested by the police so far. According to the FIR, Moeez and Muneeb were going to visit their relatives in village Buttar-Sialkot, when some people caught them and raised an alarm that they were dacoits.
The crowd tortured them to death with stones, bricks, wooden sticks and iron rods. Later, they hung the dead bodies to a tree and tried to set them on fire.
The grieved family have demanded stern legal action against the concerned police officials in this regard. “Our sons were completely innocent. They were walking on the road when they were attacked,” said the boys’ father Sajjad Butt, adding that he held the police responsible for the incident.
Sajjad Butt’s family lives in Sialkot City’s Hajipura locality. Muneeb was a first year student at the Government Murray College and his younger brother Muneeb Butt, 16, was a ninth class student at a local school.
A large number of locals have come forward to give evidence regarding the innocence of the deceased. The family added that their sons were killed in a row over an old cricket match dispute.
Sajjad Butt has urged the Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court (LHC) Khawaja Muhammad Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif to ensure the early arrest of those responsible.
On Friday, following LHC chief justice’s suo motu notice of the incident, Pakistan Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary also took suo moto notice of the brutal killings. The LHC chief justice adjourned the hearing of the case for two weeks, since the Supreme Court of Pakistan is also hearing the case now.
Meanwhile, District ameer Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Sialkot Hafiz Tahir Aslam , ameer JI Sialkot City Shamasul Arifeen, former MPA Arshad Mehmood Baggu advocate affirmed that the young men were completely innocent and were merely walking along the road to get back home when they were attacked.
The Sialkot Saddar police is facing strong public criticism after the brutal killings. The District Police Officer (DPO) Waqar Ahmad Chohan after suspending the accused officials has now ordered a strict departmental probe against them. “No one will be let off. We are looking at the records of everyone in the station and will suspend everyone involved,” he said. The DPO warned that those charged with negligence would be brought to task.
Meanwhile, the Sialkot Saddar police have also registered a case against 17 accused people for torturing and killing the brothers.
The FIR has been lodged by Zarar Butt, uncle of the deceased youths. Cases have been registered against 17 men including Ali, Ameen, Aamir, Qaisar, Nasir, Jamil, Shaukat, Dilawar, Akbar and Hassan. Police have also claimed to arrest many of the accused.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 21st, 2010.