Sahiwal tragedy: Victims' family does 'not trust JIT', refuses to take part in identification parade

“We do not trust this JIT. It has only damaged our case. They know the killers but don’t want to act against...


News Desk January 30, 2019
The victims of the Sahiwal shooting. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

The main complainant in the Sahiwal shooting case refused to take part in an identification parade, Express News reported on Wednesday.

The joint investigation team (JIT) probing the case had summoned the victim's brother, Jalil, his nephew Umair, and other witnesses cited in the First Information Report (FIR) to Sahiwal on Wednesday.

The men were due to take part in an identification parade of possible suspects at 10am. However, Jalil and the others refused to participate in the process, reiterating their concerns over the legitimacy of the JIT.

“We do not trust this JIT at all. It [the JIT] has only worked to damage our case. Why must we go through the identification process again? These people know well who the killers are but they just don’t want to act against them,” claimed the vistim's brother.

Sahiwal tragedy: CTD accused of 'pressuring' family to drop case

This is not the first time that the family members of the Sahiwal victims have raised concerns over the handling of the investigation.

On January 28, the family appealed for protection as they accused the CTD of trying to save their colleagues by exerting pressure on the family to drop the case.

At a press conference, family members and their lawyer, Shahbaz Bukhari, claimed the CTD was trying to protect its image and was threatening them with dire consequences if the case was not dropped.

Bukhari further alleged that one of the province’s top CTD official called him and threatened his life.

The lawyer presented a seven-minute recorded call during the press conference and added that the recording has been forwarded to the JIT head Additional IG Ijaz Shah.

The incident

On January 19, the CTD claimed in a statement that they signaled a Suzuki Alto car and a motorcycle to stop near Sahiwal Toll Plaza on GT Road, but they did not pull over and instead opened fire on the police.

The CTD officials retaliated and four people, including two women, were killed by the “firing of their own accomplices” in the ensuing firefight, according to the CTD.

The operation was a follow-up of the January 15 Faisalabad raid and that they were tracing two wanted terrorists of Da’ish, Shahid Jabbar and Abdur Rehman, who were listed in the ‘red book’, they added.

Senate committee 'rejects' Sahiwal JIT, writes to PM for judicial commission

“This network was involved in the killing of three officials of a sensitive agency in Multan and a police officer in Faisalabad. They were also involved in the killing of American aid worker Warran Weinstein and abduction of former chief minister Yousaf Raza Gillani’s son.”

However, later it transpired that except for Zeeshan, all other occupants of the car were an innocent family. They were identified as Khalil, his wife Nabeela, and daughter Areeba.

Khalil’s son Mohammad Umair and two daughters Muniba and Jaziba were also wounded in the operation. The incident triggered nationwide outrage and calls for the government to come clean on the shady operation.

A joint investigation team formed to probe into the incident confirmed that the family was innocent and that the CTD officials were responsible for their killing. Subsequently, the Punjab government removed some top CTD officials and suspended others, while announcing to try five CTD officials responsible for the killings on terrorism and murder charges.

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