RAWALPINDI: The funeral for Constable Zafraan, who was killed in a brazen attack on a police picket in Rawalpindi’s Sadiqabad area late on Thursday, was offered in full police colours and honours on Friday.
Meanwhile, a case for the attack has been registered by the Sadiqabad police.
The funeral of Constable Zafraan was offered at the Police Lines in Rawalpindi with Punjab Inspector General of Police Amjad Javed Saleemi, Rawalpindi Regional Police Officer Ahmed Ishaq Jahangir, Rawalpindi City Police Officer Abbas Ahsan, Deputy Commissioner Ali Randhawa, Chief Traffic Officer Muhammad Bin Ashraf and other senior officers and a large number of police personnel were present.
A smartly turned out police continent gave tribute to Constable Zafraan.
After the funeral, his body was dispatched to his ancestral graveyard for burial.
Speaking to the media after the funeral prayers, IGP Saleemi said: “we have secured some evidence regarding the incident and we are working on the available leads.”
He further said that they have set up two, separate investigative teams which will be supervised by Operations-SSP and Investigations-SSP.
IGP Saleemi conceded that the police in Rawalpindi have come under frequent attack with four other incidents taking place prior to this one, however, he said all of these cases have been solved.
“Right now, it seems that this was not an act of terrorism but everything will be clear after investigation,” IGP Saleemi said, adding that the man had apparently opened fire after he was stopped by the police for a search.
He added that the families of Constable Zafraan and other injured cops will be given financial compensation.
Asked about the pickets, he said that they were set up to stop kite-flying which is banned. To a question about wearing bulletproof vests, IGP Saleemi said that they are worn during raids, not under normal circumstances and that there were clear standard operating procedures for this.
Regarding the crime rate in Rawalpindi, he said that there is a perception that if a police officer is murdered during a burglary attempt then no officer should be deployed in that area,
Criminal incidents are the result of social issues while the police’s job is to catch criminals, he said.
A case for the attack, in which Zafraan and four others were injured, has been registered at the Sadiqabad police station and includes Section VII of the Anti-Terror Act 1999 along with charges of attempt to murder.
The first information report reads that at around 6:30pm, while officials were manning the picket at Sadiqabad Chowk, an unidentified man walked towards the picket from Haji Chowk. As he neared the picket, he raised both his hands, in each of which he was holding a gun, and started firing at the police squad manning the picket.
As a result, Sub-Inspector Qamar Sadiq — who had filed the complaint — said that he was shot and severely wounded. Moreover, his comrades Sub-inspector Muhammad Akram, Constable Zafraan Sajid Muhammad and Shehzad were also injured along with a passerby Muhammad Naseem.
The unidentified assailant, who appeared to be 25-26 years-of-age, managed to flee.
The attack caused fear amongst the crowd who ran for cover.
While they were shifted to the hospital, 40-year-old Zafraan had suffered a mortal wound and succumbed to his injuries.
Sketch of suspect
Police have managed to draw up an initial sketch of the suspect who had fired on a police picket at Sadiqabad Chowk.
The sketch was developed using footage from closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed at nearby stores.
Despite that, officials said that they were having trouble positively identifying the suspect. One of the issues is that the attack took place at night and the suspect was shrouded in darkness.
As a result, officials are not overly optimistic about the likeness of the suspect.
Police sources told Daily Express that they were investigating the attack from various angles to trace the suspect and that they are working hard to solve it.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 23rd, 2019.
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