LAHORE: Investment of billions of rupees to modernise operations and investigations have not reduced the importance of the use of the chittar by Punjab Police.
Chittar was a tool made of leather and used by the police to beat criminals. Police are still dependent on this tool for investigations at the grassroots level.
A video has surfaced of the Nishter Colony police using the chittar to inflict brutal torture on a local.
The video showed that three or four police officials had laid a citizen on the ground at a building in the limits of Nishter Colony Police Station. They placed their feet on the victim while an official thrashed him with a chittar. The officials were also seen making fun of the victim.
When the issue was highlighted, Operations DIG Dr Haider Ashraf took note of the incident and suspended Nishter Colony SHO Amir Waseem and Moharar.
Amir Waseem, while talking to The Express Tribune, said that the video was at least three months old. “I was not present at the station when the incident occurred and therefore it is not in my knowledge,” he said. “However, it is an illegal act,” he added.
This was not the first time a video of torture using a chittar had surfaced. In August 2017, a similar video went viral and in it, a local was humiliated by Millat Park police.
Furthermore, a video of the torture of two young men at the hands of Naseerabad Police appeared in April 2017. These victims were arrested during a raid on a hotel and were charged with being involved in immoral activities.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 10th, 2018.