Police torture case: 22-year-old illegally held by police for over 2 weeks

Tariq’s legs have been amputated and doctors say his condition is still serious.

Owais Raza January 15, 2011

MULTAN: A young man was allegedly kept in a private holding cell for over 15 days and tortured by police officers. Mailsi City Police abducted 22-year-old Tariq from his house in Fardeedan Colony over 15 days ago after suspecting him of having filed a complaint against them.

The police then shifted Tariq to a nearby torture cell at a dera (private residence) of local feudal lord Arshad. Police officials including Station House Officer (SHO) Akhtar Dogar, assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Allah Data and head constable Hamid Shah have been implicated in the case and the Vehari District Police Officer (DPO) Nasir Ali Rizi has ordered a departmental investigation against the accused police officials.

“Tariq was brought to us in critical condition. We had to amputate both his legs otherwise he would have died,” said Nishtar Hospital Dr Noor Mehdi, adding “he had been severely tortured. They used water torture and spread him across burning coals. They also used spices in his open cuts which has caused an infection.”

Tariq initially told rescue officials that he was brutally tortured by the police for over two weeks. “He was barely conscious when he told us that they had they had burned his body with burning iron bars and had run heavy cement rollers over his legs,” Rescue official Sabir Shah said, adding “We knew while he was in the ambulance that his legs would have to be amputated or he would die.”

Police officials said that they had suspected Tariq in a robbery case and took him in for questioning from his house. “We didn’t do this to him. We merely questioned him and then left him outside his house,” said accused ASI Allah Datta, adding “someone else must have gotten to him later on.” Tariq had told rescue workers that when the police couldn’t find any evidence against him they threw him outside his house in Fardeedan Colony. “We found him nearly dead lying outside the gate of his house and immediately called the ambulance,” Tariq’s neighbour Saleem said. Local residents said that Tariq had been beaten to a pulp and was barely recognizable. “They had slashed up his face, broken his legs and burnt his skin. It was terrifying,” said a neighbour Nasreen bibi. Tariq’s relatives and residents of the area took out several demonstrations against the police in the area. His father Muhammad Yamin lodged an FIR against the police personnel involved in the case in Mailsi Police Station. The residents also demonstrate outside the office of DPO Riazi, who said that strict action would be taken against the police officials involved. “The doctors say my son may not survive because of what they did to him. They just took him without any warning,” Yamin said, adding “my son had filed a complaint against the police for harassing him regarding a robbery case that he had no clue about.” “That is why they did this to him,” he said. DPO Riazi has taken notice of this case and suspended the police personnel involved. He has also issued orders for the arrest of the men involved. Constable Hamid and ASI Allah Datta have been arrested while SHO Akhtar Dogar is still at large.

According to the residents of the area, the police personnel have been pressurising the relatives of the victim to drop the case. “They said we would die if we didn’t drop the protest,” Tariq’s sister Meera said.

Tariq was initially shifted to Vehari district hospital but the medical superintendent of the district hospital Dr Azim Ahmed immediately referred him to Nishtar Hospital Multan, where he has been operated on twice already. “We have cut his legs to save his life but he is still critical,” said Dr Mehdi. Tariq is currently being treated in the Emergency Ward of the hospital and doctors say his condition is still serious.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 15th,  2011.


Karim Khan | 12 years ago | Reply This is the kind of behavior that I call terrorism in uniform. And of course, departmental inquiry in Pakisatn means no inquiry.
Saman | 12 years ago | Reply This is is the true face of Pakistan police – the very police that is meant to exist for our protection and preservation of law and order in the country. It disgusts me knowing that wearing a police uniform is a license to confine, torture and harass the common man as and when you please. Even if the man is a robber/murderer/rapist/terrorist, there is a certain method that needs to be followed in “dealing” with him/her. This is worse then any crime that the man may have allegedly committed. Purely shameful.
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