Suspect dies of alleged torture in custody

A medical board has been constituted to ascertain the cause of the death

Photo Agha Mehroz/saleh Mughal February 06, 2018
People protesting outside Ganjmandi police station, Rawalpindi, against the alleged custodial death of a suspect. PHOTO: AGHA MEHROZ/EXPRESS

RAWALPINDI: A suspect being held at the Ganjmandi police station died under mysterious circumstances sparking protest by family, friends and the community.

Family members and area residents on receiving the news of the young man’s death came out on the streets to protest outside the police station alleging police torture as the cause of death.

The heirs of the deceased, identified only as Rehan, have declared it a custodial killing and demanded investigation into the matter.

Rawalpindi police high-ups have ordered to set up a medical board to ascertain the cause of the death while the dead body has been sent to the District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ) for an autopsy.

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Ganjmandi police maintain that they had caught Rehan after a hot chase. The suspect was panting and short of breath, he started complaining of chest pain but died enroute to hospital.

As per FIR registered against the deceased, a mobile squad of Ganjmandi police was on routine patrol in the Workshopi Mohalla. The squad grew suspicious when the suspect began to walk fast on seeing the police mobile.

Police sounded the hooter and ordered him to stop, however, he started running, but was caught within seconds as he could not outrun the police vehicle.

On frisking, police recovered five bottles of liquor from Rehan. He was subsequently arrested and booked for illegal liquor possession.

In the police lockup, Rehan complained of chest pain to the other suspects who massaged his chest and immediately informed the constables on duty about his deteriorating condition.

Police say they rushed the suspect to hospital but he died on the way.

On receiving news of his death family members neighbours and other sympathisers surrounded the Ganjmandi police station and stated shouting slogans against police.

Senior police officers reached and assured the mourners to take strict action against the involved police constables, provided the post-mortem confirms police torture.

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Thereafter a medical board, constituting senior doctors of the Rawalpindi District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ) was formulated.

On the other hand according to police authorities of the Ganj Mandi police station, Rehan himself was a drug addict and had been involved in cases before.

When contacted by Daily Express, City DSP Farhan Aslam said that he cannot say anything before the inquiry is complete. According to available, Aslam said, Rehan was confined to police custody in case. Aslam said he had been told there were no torture marks on the body. But again, he reiterated, let the autopsy report come before jumping to conclusions.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 6th, 2018.


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