Seeking justice: Policemen to be held for torturing detainee

Medical reports proved patient was subjected to severe physical abuse


Our Correspondent April 09, 2016
PHOTO: AFP

HARIPUR: A court in Haripur has taken exception to a complaint of custodial mistreatment and ordered registration of criminal case against policemen involved in the matter.

According to a written order issued from the court of additional sessions judge II Ziaur Rehman to the complainant on April 9, a driver identified as Shakeel Ahmed, 38, approached the court under Section 22-A of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPc).

Cycle of torture

The complainant accused head constable Malik Shoraiz, Haripur Criminal Investigation Agency constable Khalid Shah and three other police personnel, who were wearing plain clothes, for forcing him into a car from Mirpur Suzuki terminal.

The complainant, through his petition, stated the policemen took him to the police department residential quarters near City police station on February 2 and beat him for several hours. They forced him to confess he had committed a robbery at the house of Amir Qayyum, a resident of Darwesh village, and decamped with gold ornaments.

However, when he refused, they subjected him to severe physical and mental torture.

The next morning [February 3], policemen shifted Ahmed to City police station lock-up but kept his detention unrecorded. They allowed him to go back home on the evening of February 21 and before his release, obtained his signatures on blank papers for misusing them in their favour.

The complainant stated after severe torture, he was unable to move with his bruised and bleeding body and his family members took him to the DPO’s office to file a complaint. However, no action was taken.

However, he was taken to the emergency department of District Headquarters Hospital Haripur where the doctor on duty conducted a medical examination and proved in the report that the patient had been tortured.

The hearing

During the hearing, SHO City police station, in his written comments, denied charges of torture and detention of Ahmed, adding the complainant was arrested on the night of February 20 on suspicion of being vagabond under section 55/109 of the CrPc. He added Ahmed was released the same night on the assurance of one of his acquaintances.

After a detailed hearing, the court observed that medical evidence suggested cognisable offences of assault, torture and misuse of authority by the police had been committed. It directed Haripur SHO to register case under the relevant provisions setting the law into motion and conduct an impartial and fair investigation.

The past

According to Advocate Abdul Salam Dilazak, who took up Ahmed’s case, the same court had ordered registration of criminal case against city police for subjecting a local newsman to torture during detention a couple of months earlier.

However, the policemen approached Abbottabad bench of Peshawar High Court, challenging the order.

Advocate Jawad Habib, a human rights lawyer, said this was the fourth case during the last few months where citizens accused the police of subjecting them to severe mental and physical torture during detention.

He said this was not only against the Constitution but also against government’s own commitment to the United Nations.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 10th, 2016.

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