Witnesses of the lynching of two brothers in Sialkot have been put on the Exit Control List (ECL), said Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Sunday.
“It is feared that some people will run away from the country so we have put their names on the ECL,” Malik said while speaking to reporters after offering condolences to the family of the two teenage boys – Mughees Butt and Muneeb Butt – who were lynched by a mob earlier this month in Sialkot. He added that 10 accused have been arrested, four of whom are policemen. “In this whole situation, the policemen standing there are more to blame,” Malik said.
“This crime is too grave. No law in the world allows this. It is inhuman,” the minister said. Even if someone commits a crime, it is the job of the police to prove it and the court’s job to punish,” he added.
Accompanying the interior minister, Governor Punjab Salman Taseer also strongly condemned the incident and said: “I apologise to my people for this awful incident. These murders have brought disgrace to the nation all over the world.”
Meanwhile, PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif and his brother Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that those accused in the brutal murders will not be spared. In a press conference at the house of MNA Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Shahbaz said the provincial government has formed an investigation committee to probe into the incident.
The committee will be in addition to the committees formed earlier by the Supreme Court and the Punjab police. Additional IG CID of the provincial police will head the committee and nominate three officials for investigations.
However, the mother of the two boys has no trust in the investigations. “The police were there when my sons were tortured. I have no faith in what they do,” she said. The video of the incident shows police and Rescue 1122 personnel at the scene watching the boys being beaten to death. A police van is also seen behind the truck carrying the bodies across town.
Spokesperson of Rescue 1122, Faheem Jehanzeb, said that the director general of their department Dr Rizwan Naseer has formed an inquiry committee to investigate the issue.
Meanwhile a large number of people staged a protest against the police for their role in the lynching of the two brothers. They also attacked an office of the Rescue 1122 and ransacked the furniture.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2010.
Correction: September 13, 2010
An earlier version of this article stated the name of the brothers as Moiz and Muneeb. The names are Mughees and Muneeb and have been corrected.
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