LAHORE: The police have said they have no intention of arresting or even questioning a suspended station house officer and 13 other policemen accused of torturing an elderly man to death.
Inspector Ramazan Dogar, who is in charge of investigations at Kot Lakhpat police station, told The Express Tribune that the accused officials had not obtained interim bail, nor joined the investigation. “The FIR was registered under pressure from media and high-ups. It is not based on reality,” said Dogar. He said that he had not sought to arrest the accused. According to the FIR, Abdul Razzaq, 70, was picked up from his home in Kot Lakhpat by a police contingent on the night of October 11. After a night in custody at the station, the police dumped him outside his home, unconscious. He was in a coma for some time before passing away at General Hospital. An FIR was registered against SHO Sanaullah and 13 other cops on October 16.
Haji Zakaria, the complainant and brother of the deceased, said that he had gone to the police station and asked officers to arrest the accused policemen, but they ignored him. He said he had met the deputy superintendent of police and the new station house officer and urged them to act too. Zakaria said that the accused police officials had contacted him several times seeking a “reconciliation”. He said they had offered to pay huge sums to get the case withdrawn. He said he had recorded calls made to him by the accused policemen.
Sources at the police station said that investigators had advised the accused officials to try to convince the complainant to withdraw the case.
Zakaria said that the police appeared to be favouring their colleagues and urged senior officials to ensure that his complaint is investigated on merit. He said he was considering moving the High Court.
On the day the FIR was registered, SP Malik Awais, the superintendent of police concerned, dismissed the charges as baseless even though he hadn’t questioned the accused. The city police chief later suspended the SHO and 13 others till the case against them was decided.
Zakaria said that Sanaullah and the other policemen had raided their house on the night of October 11 because the family had moved court against Kot Lakhpat police for not registering their complaint in another case.
He said after they had tortured Razzaq all night and dumped his almost lifeless body, he got permission from a court for a medical examination. An assistant sub inspector followed them to General Hospital and tried to secretly get the unconscious Razzaq’s thumb print on a document, he said. Doctors and nurses had caught the ASI and handed him over to the police, but no case was registered against the ASI.
To cover up Razzaq’s detention, Zakaria said, the police arrested his son-in-law Babar and produced him before a judge the next day, identifying him as Razzaq.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 24th, 2011.