A police inquiry has ruled out intentional murder of a labourer of a coal company in Tharparkar who died after two-weeks-long hospitalisation following his alleged beating by the company’s guards.
The inquiry, headed by Hyderabad DIG Sharjeel Kharal, however, recommended insertion of Section 322 of the Pakistan Penal Code, which pertains to unintentional murder with the accused liable to paying a diyat amount decided by a court of law, in the FIR.
Dodo Bheel, who died in a hospital in Hyderabad on June 30, was allegedly tortured by the coal company’s guards. He was among a dozen persons who were suspected of stealing iron from the company based in Islamkot taluka. His family claimed that Bheel was kept in illegal detention for some days during which he was repeatedly beaten.
The detainees were later also charged in an FIR pertaining to theft and were handed over to the police. Bheel’s family and a large number of residents from Islamkot resorted to protests and sit-in demonstrations following his death, demanding justice and punishment of those responsible for his death.
The Sindh High Court had taken notice of the incident and Federal Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who addressed the protesters through a phone call, also condemned the incident. The Sindh government also later offered Rs10 million compensation to the deceased person’s family.
The inquiry officer, Inspector Siraj Lashari, said that the final charge sheet of the case will be submitted in the court after the final postmortem report. According to him, the guards did not intend to kill him and that Bheel was handed over to the police after which he died. “Though the nominated suspects may be responsible for his death, they didn’t kill him because of which they can’t be nominated under Section 302 [of the PPC pertaining to intentional murder],” said Lashari.
Separately, the FIR in which nine workers of the coal company were booked for the alleged theft is being quashed as fake. It was lodged on the complaint of the company’s staffer, Huzaifa Malik.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2021.
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