MULTAN: Dajal police registered a case against 100 nominated and 1,000 unidentified suspects on Tuesday under the Anti-Terrorism Act after a protest against the police took a violent turn.
Police said hundreds of relatives and friends of a man, who had died resisting robbery near the Dajal police station, had gathered there to protest against the police. They torched five police vans and damaged police property worth millions of rupees, police said.
Khadim Hussain, a resident of Dajal, Rajanpur district, and his brother Danish were traveling on a motorcycle on Monday. Some unidentified men stopped them and tried to stanch their bike. Hussain resisted and the robbers shot him and his brother. They then fled. Hussain and Danish suffered serious wounds. Hussain had succumbed to his injuries at a rural health centre. Danish was referred to Nishtar Hospital in Multan.
On Tuesday, Hussain’s relatives and neighbours gathered in front of the police station and placed the body on the road. Police said that they also surrounded the police station and set fire to five police vans. They also pulled out the main gate. Police said that they had to shoot the protesters with rubber bullets and fire shots in the air. Extra contingents of Rangers were called in to diffuse the situation. Section 144 was later invoked to ban public gatherings in the area. They said that the protesters had demanded that the police arrest the robbers without delay. The family later held funeral prayers and laid the body to rest.
The protesters told journalists that the incident had taken place barely 300m away from the police station. “Yet they couldn’t respond to the shooting on time…Hussain’s life could have been saved had the police got their when they were called,” one of the protesters said.
He said the family had had to take the injured men to an RHC where doctors had refused to treat Hussain because “it was a police case”.
Rajanpur District Police Officer Hafiz Irfanullah has directed the police to arrest the robbers within 48 hours. He has also told them to investigate the allegation against doctors at the RHC. “We have also registered a case against the protesters for disturbing the peace.”
He said they had damaged property worth millions and would be taken to task for it.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2016.