LAHORE: Mother of a young boy who was killed in an encounter while hijacking an oil tanker in Sadar Chunian, alleges that Kasur police were reluctant to expose other members of the gang who got her son killed.
Sadar Pattoki police had taken three suspects into custody after the incident. Two of the suspects have been released while the third was still in custody.
Amna Bibi, the mother of Arsalan Shahid said she had been visiting different offices to know the facts behind the incident but police were not sharing any details with her.
She alleged the investigators have been bribed to turn a blind eye towards the other suspects.
“My young son has been killed. I buried him before my eyes. It is painful for an old mother,” Amna Bibi, a resident of Band Road Lahore, said. “He had no criminal record at any police station. Hearing of his encounter, all of a sudden while snatching an oil tanker was shocking for me.”
Amna said her son was used in the incident by some influential but police were not exposing the prime suspects. “It is my right to know the facts. The authorities are denying me of this right,” she said.
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“I demanded them to bring the actual culprits involved in the incident to justice,” Amna added. She alleged “a former SHO of Lahore was supporting the suspects and had brokered a deal after hefty bribe to get them scot-free”.
Arsalan Shahid had returned from Saudi Arabia after working as a crane operator for two years. With his savings from abroad, he acquired a filling station on contract for two years in partnership with Imran and Adnan in November 2016.
Arsalan had become acquaintance with Imran and Adnan while he was working at a petrol pump in Shera Kot before going to Saudi Arabia.
“My son was happy as his business was running well and making good profitable,” Amna added.
Two weeks before the incident, he was very depressed. When inquired, he shared that his partners were creating hurdlers in his business and asking him to withdraw his share and leave.
On March 22, she was informed that her son was killed. “It was shocking for me. Police told me that my son along with other suspects had tried to hijack an oil tanker of Taj Petrol Pump Company as it left an oil depot in Habibabad.”
In an FIR registered by Taj Company manager Alam Zeb said the oil tanker was snatched by two suspects.
The FIR further revealed that when police started chasing the oil tanker, a suspect fled after abandoning the vehicle.
The helper working with the oil tanker, Saddam Hussain was shot dead by the suspects.
When the encounter ensued between Arsalan Shahid and police, he was asked to surrender. Instead of complying by police orders, he behaved strangely. SHO Sadar Pattoki, Sadar Chunian and incharge Chowki confirmed the claim that Arsalan’s behaviour was abnormal as if he was drunk or intoxicated.
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They also said Arsalan was constantly in contact with someone on phone. Amna alleged that police had not arrested the suspect who fled after abandoning the oil tanker when police approached and the suspect with whom Arsalan was in contact on phone.
A call data record (CDR) showed that Adnan, partner of Arsalan, was in contact with him at the time of encounter but police did not mention him in the case.
Chowki Habibabad incharge Zulfiqar Bhatti said investigations were underway. Talking about investigations of the incident, he said Adnan was in contact with Arslan at the time of encounter but it does not mean he was an accomplice. They had taken him into custody and were investigating the matter further.
SHO Sadar Pattoki Tahir said the investigations cannot be shared. He said if mother of the victim suspected that someone was involved in the killing of his son, she must file an application.
He also pointed out that former SHO has nothing to do with the case and he did not manipulate the investigations, Tahir claimed. Police would conduct the investigations on merit, he maintained. DSP Circle Nasrullah Khan Niazi said the investigations were underway and they could not share it.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2017.
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