Recent months have seen an upsurge in police brutality. Cops have either shot dead young men on the slightest suspicion or they have tortured people to death. Police personnel get their salaries from the taxes paid by the people but sometimes what the latter get in return is violent death. This is compelling us to believe we are living in dystopia. A few days ago, two highly detestable incidents have occurred: one in Quetta and the other in Mingora. In Quetta, policemen fired straight on two car-borne young men killing one and wounding the other presuming them to be dangerous. In the other incident, five cops mercilessly whacked a man after a traffic accident for merely daring to argue with them. The policemen were so daring that they were not deterred by the presence of the crowd.
A few months ago, in Karachi, the police gunned down a young man while he was gossiping with a friend, and a group of another trigger-happy policemen shot dead a youth in Rawalpindi. A poor young man was allegedly tortured to death in a police lock-up in Kashmore. All such incidents put a question mark on the quality of training being imparted to police personnel. Are they not made aware about the importance of handling such situations with utmost caution and restraint considering the value of human life?
All these invaluable lives were not lost in encounters, behind which the police usually hide their brutality. An encounter means an exchange of gunfire between cops and ‘criminals’. However, in some ‘encounters’ several people from the other side die but not a single cop suffers even a minor injury. Are unrestrained killings entitle cops to rewards? Though cops are alleged to have earned promotions on the number of ‘encounters’. Some have gained the honorifics ‘super cops’ and ‘encounter specialists’. Things need to be mended and mended before another life is lost. No cop should brag about scoring Ab Tak Chhappan!
Published in The Express Tribune, May 9th, 2021.