In Rawalpindi, custodial death victim’s family blocks IJP Road

Protest ends on including names of five cops, who arrested Sunny, in FIR


Imran Asghar December 11, 2019
People block IJP Road to demand registration of FIR against cops allegedly responsible for custodial death of Muhammad Sakhi Sunny. PHOTO: EXPRESS

RAWALPINDI: The family of the citizen allegedly killed in custody of New Town police on Monday ended three-hour long protest on IJP Road and took the body for burial on Tuesday afternoon.

Muhammad Sakhi Sunny was arrested by mobile squad of New Town police station, however, according to police his condition deteriorated and he died in hospital.

However, his family blamed police for custodial death due to torture and demanded that names of police officials responsible should be inserted in the First Information Report (FIR).

Instead of offering funeral, the protesters brought the body to IJP Road, erected obstacles and blocked the traffic for three hours. The protesters dispersed when the accused police personnel were nominated in the FIR.

However, during these three hours of protest traffic between the twin cities remained chaotic as top police officers kept convincing the protestors to end the blockade.

Sunny was arrested by New Town police on alleged robbery charges on Sunday. Later that night, his family was informed that he had mysteriously died in the station. Discovering this, the victim’s family rushed to the station and staged a protest against the police. At the moment, a murder case, though without names of any of the police personnel, was registered.

Sunny’s body was then handed over to his family after post-mortem on Tuesday but instead of burying the deceased, the furious family members reached IJP Road with the body around 2pm.

The demonstrators set ablaze a dead tree along the road and blocked the traffic movement on the thoroughfare by erecting obstacles.

Later, Investigation SSP Muhammad Faisal, Rawal SP Asif Mehmood, New Town ASP Ziauddin reached the protest site with heavy police force.

The police officials updated the demonstrators that New Town SHO Malik Qaiser and five other police personnel have been suspended on the matter while a murder case has been registered too.

The officials assured of a fair and transparent probe into the matter. However, the enraged protesters put forward the demand of nominating the responsible personnel which was entertained by the top officials.

Later, the family was presented with copies of upgraded FIR with the inclusion of names of two ASIs including Majid and Waseem and three constables. Satisfied by the move, the protesters removed the obstacles and then dispersed.

Following this, the funeral prayer of the victim, the father of a year-old daughter, was held in the Dhok Najju area while he was buried in a local graveyard.

Taking notice of the incident, Rawalpindi City Police Officer (CPO) Ahsan Younus deployed Inspector Mirza Javed as the new SHO of New Town police station.

He said that the case would be investigated on merit, adding that the charge-sheets against the suspects would be presented in the court if they were found guilty of the offense.

Police report

New Town police had claimed that a patrol party had signaled two people goining on a motorbike to stop, but they sped away. Police mobile chased the suspects however they were intercepted after a brief chase.

One of the men escaped while the other was found hiding in an under construction building, police said.  The man, Sunny, was taken to the New Town police station where his condition deteriorated. Although he was taken to a hospital, he did not survive.

Mohammad Shakeel, the deceased’s brother, claimed that his brother had gone to drop his wife at her parents’ home and was coming back home when police arrested him for no reason.

“We got a call that your brother’s body is lying in the hospital,” Shakeel said.

He blamed the police for torturing Sunny to death.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 11th, 2019.

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