A robbery suspect died from bullet wounds after a mob held him and his accomplice and beat them with hockey sticks in Kanjwani village on Tuesday night.
Garh Maharaja police said before they could intervene and rescue the two suspects, identified as Zahoor and Qasim, residents of Chak No402-GB Sadar Tandlianwala and Chak No391-GB, the mob had already shot and injured Qasim.
They said he was taken to a Tandlianwala hospital where he died due to excessive bleeding. They said Zahoor had been given first aid at the hospital. “He is now in our custody,” Sub Inspector Shaukat Ali said.
Villagers told the police that Zahoor and Qasim and another accomplice were caught when they were trying to escape after looting a shop at Killianwala Chowk. They said the suspects had shot and injured one Asghar Ali on offering resistance.
“They had robbed Asghar Ali of gold jewellery and cash. We wanted to catch them and hand them over to the police. Someone lost temper and shot at one of them,” the villagers said. They said robberies had been on the rise in the area for the past few months. “We can’t rely upon the police to catch robbers and prosecute them,” they said.
Station house officer Khizar Hayat Wahla said they had registered a case against the suspects under Sections 392 (attempted robbery), 324 (firing during robbery) and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code.
He said Qasim’s death would be treated as “killed during a robbery attempt,” and added that there was no need for registering a separate murder case.
Also, he said, police could not register such a case on their own and that someone needed to come forward and lodge a complaint in that regard. “We tried our best to save the two from the mob. Someone shot him before we could take them away,” he said.
The SHO said Qasim’s body had been sent for a post mortem examination. The report, he said, would be available in a day.
He said investigation of the case had been assigned to SI Shaukat Ali who had been directed to trace and arrest the third accomplice.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 18th, 2011.