Two civilians, one of whom was a foreigner, were allegedly tortured and detained by members of the Special Branch and Lahore police. The victims also claimed they were harassed and looted by the cops stationed at a police station in the provincial capital.
Three officers, including one from Special Branch, were charged with torturing and holding residents and tourists against their will in the Defence B area. After registration of an FIR, the local police took all three cops into custody late at night to conduct an investigation.
On Friday, a driver named Israr and Kevin, a foreign trainer, were traveling through Defence area when three individuals on two motorbikes intercepted them. One of the three suspects began searching the victims, while the other three started searching the car.
One of the accused allegedly grabbed the driver and threatened him with a weapon, while the accused tortured Kevin. In his complaint, Israr maintained that one of the three suspects was wearing police uniform. The driver foiled the accused's attempt to abduct the foreigner. The three suspects rode away on motorcycles.
Police registered the incident after learning more about it. However, when the incident's CCTV footage surfaced, it became clear that one of the suspects was Head Constable Mushtaq, posted in South Cantonment. Imran and Mohsin, two personnel of Police post Cavalry Ground, were among the accused, upon which they were summoned to the police station, where an inquiry had already been opened.
Sources said Special Branch personnel have previously been accused of collecting bribes from drug traffickers and other criminals, but nothing has been done to prosecute them.
The provincial capital's guest houses, drug traffickers, gamblers and other criminal elements provide Special Branch officials with thousands of rupees in monthly payments.
Once they have formed a gang with the assistance of the police station staff, they start looting at all hours of the day and night, while falsely reporting to Special Branch that everything is fine.
The complainant has demanded strict action against “rogue officers” of the Special Branch, including Mushtaq. Police said an investigation was ongoing into the three suspects and strict departmental action is being taken.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 26th, 2022.
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