Autopsy report contradicts police’s account of events

Police allegedly staged a shoot out to cover up earlier killing.

Ahtishamul Haq February 05, 2011
Autopsy report contradicts police’s account of events

FAISALABAD: A police encounter that allegedly took place on January 12 was revealed to be fake after a post mortem report was released to the media on Thursday.

According to police reports, a notorious gang dubbed the Odh Gang were robbing a man Afzal on the main Faisalabad Road on Monday. Jaranwala Saddar Police SHO Ghulam Muhammad Abad Nasir Chattha said that Afzal had called the police to the scene after the robbery. “We received a report that he and his driver had been robbed and that six men had stolen cash and his car,” Chattha said, adding that the incident took place at 4 am and a heavy police contingent arrived at the scene.

Police officials allegedly tracked down the robbers and fired upon them when four men managed to flee the scene. Police officials said that they caught two of the robbers but the men were killed in the ensuing cross fire. “We opened fire on the men to prevent them from escaping and they were killed in the crossfire,” the SHO said. However, post mortem reports of both robbers Amin and Ashiq have revealed that the men were severely tortured before they were killed. “There are rope marks on their wrists and severe burn and torture wounds on the body,” said Civil Hospital Dr Rasheed. “The report also establishes that the torture took place at least two days before the incident was reported to have happened,” he said. The medical report has revealed that the men were dead before the ‘police encounter’ took place and an eyewitness said that the latter was staged by the police.  “The police arrived on January 12, met with Afzal and fired some shots in the air but there was no one to shoot at,” he said. According to a witness, a robbery took place on January 9 near the Sittu Pura area and a 16-member gang called the Odh Gang was implicated. “The gang leaders themselves announced the robbery. They threatened a local and said that if he did not pay a debt they would rob his house at 2.30 am and they did,” he said.

Sheikh Aslam told reporters that he owed the Odh Gang some money but was unable to pay them. “After they threatened me I told the police and they camped out over the roofs of several houses to catch the gang but they still couldn’t manage.” Aslam said that a large police contingent of over 150 people arrived at the scene and the gang members still managed to escape. “They just caught one man, Aashiq and after days of questioning he led them to Amin,” Aslam said.

Aslam claimed that Afzal, who reported a robbery on January 12 was a police tout and that the entire raid was staged. “The men were already dead,” he said.  Medical reports have confirmed that both Aashiq and Amin were shot at point blank range and died instantly. “The men had large bruises on their arms and faces and marks that were over two-days old,” said Dr Rasheed, adding that Amin had received two bullets in his shoulders and Ashiq had been shot in the forehead.

Police officials have claimed to be searching for the remaining four robbers and have denied all charges of the encounter having been staged. Jaranwala SP Shahnawaz said that the police encounter was not fake and that the department had no enmity with anyone.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 5th, 2011.


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