Under trial prisoner dies due to alleged police torture

Petitioner contends his son was unlawfully detained, murdered by police

Ghazanfar Warraich April 20, 2024


A man, under trial in a case of theft, died in police custody purportedly due to torture inflicted by the SHO of the City Police Station and other police personnel.

On the order of the court, a case was filed against six police officers, including the SHO, in connection with the youth's demise during an investigation. However, the authorities dismissed the case the same day, prompting outcry from the victim's family and the community.

Three months ago, SHO Akram Shehbaz and officers Irfan Cheema and others conducted a raid on the residence of Hameed, a resident of Chongi 8 in Daska.

The raid was aimed at apprehending Muhammad Hameed's son, Usman. The police demanded Usman's surrender, threatening to detain his family if he was not produced.

Hameed informed the police that Usman was at work and would be brought to the police station in the evening.

Later that day, Hameed, along with Usman and Owais, visited the City Police Station. However, SHO Akram Shehbaz allegedly detained Usman without formal arrest.

On March 26 Muhammad Hameed received news from the police that Usman had died during questioning, with his body lying at the Civil Hospital Sialkot. While police attributed Usman's death to an epileptic seizure, the victim's family vehemently refutes this, alleging that Usman was killed through torture.

In response, the victim's father submitted a formal complaint, accusing SHO Akram Shahbaz, Investigating Officer Waris, Irfan Cheema, Mumtaz Head Constable, Babar Aziz, and an unidentified individual of torturing Usman to death.

The district court presided over by Additional Sessions Judge Khalid Bashir wrote in a verdict that the death of the petitioner's son, Usman, occurred while in the custody of the City Daska Police Station.

“Despite completing the detention period for various robbery cases, Usman was not transferred to jail. The court found it suspicious that Usman was taken to Imran Idrees Hospital in Sialkot instead of DHQ Hospital Gujranwala, as recommended by doctors at Civil Hospital Daska.”

The judge further noted that discrepancies were noted in the entry record at Imran Idrees Hospital, suggesting tampering.

“Although the police were aware of Usman's identity, they falsely labelled him as an “unknown” individual while transporting his body. The petitioner contends that his son was unlawfully detained and subsequently murdered by the police. In light of these circumstances, the court concluded that an FIR should be filed against the perpetrators.”

On the other hand, counsel for Usman, Advocate Ijaz Ashraf Goraya said that the court sent Usman to jail and then “unlawfully” handed him over to the police custody, even though there is no law allowing a suspect to be transferred from judicial custody to police custody for three days, upon which the police have filed fake cases.

The police also included charges against Usman when he was only 14-year-old, and false allegations were made against him.

These cases are now part of the record, including the judicial proceedings. Now, these cases will also come to light.

This highlights the impunity of the police. Furthermore, although it was determined by court orders that there had been a murder, both the homicide and the police did not waste any time and without any inquiry, they either released the suspects or gave them clean chits.

He said the police's sole purpose was to extort money and engage in corruption.

“The police have become the uncrowned king of corruption these days and are openly violating human rights. In recent days, around 22 people have been killed in fake encounters, with no judicial record for any of them,” he said.

“In all these cases, the judiciary is also not playing its role; instead, it is silently observing all the proceedings and in many cases, the judiciary's assistance is also being obtained by the police.”


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