: Criminal case registered against 5 policemen

Accused of detaining pickup driver overnight, torture


Our Correspondent April 21, 2016
PHOTO: AFP

HARIPUR: A criminal case has been registered at City police station in Haripur against police officers for their alleged involvement in torturing a pickup driver. The case was registered on the order of the court, police and lawyers told The Express Tribune on Thursday.

A City police official said on April 9 the court of Additional Session Judge II Ziaur Rehman had ordered a criminal case against the policemen who are said to have physically abused Shakil Ahmed during his detention on February 20. Ahmed was arrested on charges of robbery in Darwesh village.

Police said after obtaining legal advice from the prosecution department, a criminal case was registered against five policemen under sections 337-L (punishment for hurt) and 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Requesting justice

Ahmed’s counsel Abdul Salam Dilazak told the court that head constables Malik Shoraiz and Khalid Shah of Criminal Investigation Agency picked him from Mirpur Suzuki terminal on February 20 and took him blindfolded to the residential quarters of the police department near City police station in Haripur. The petitioner said the two officials, along with three other plain clothed policemen, beat him mercilessly all night long. Ahmed added he fainted thrice.

On his request, the court ordered his medical examination which proved Ahmed was tortured; he had bruises and he had contracted a kidney infection.

However, in his written comments to the court, City SHO Khan Afsar denied the charges of torture and detention of Ahmed, adding he was arrested on the night of February 20 under Section 55 (arrest of vagabonds, habitual robbers) of Code of Criminal Procedure. But, the SHO said, Ahmed was released the same night on the assurance of one of his acquaintances.

Fair treatment

When contacted, DPO Shahzad Nadeem Bukhari told The Express Tribune the policemen accused of custodial abuse would certainly face criminal proceedings and disciplinary action in accordance with the court’s decision. “They would be suspended from service and dealt with under the law,” he added.

To a question he responded although he took charge of the office three days back, he would ensure public-friendly rules of the police are exercised. He said since police has yet to be equipped with high-tech investigation gadgets, it has to make do with obsolete methods during interrogation. But the DPO made it clear he would not allow custodial abuse under any circumstances.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd,  2016.

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