SIALKOT: An infuriated mob beat two alleged criminals to death as they were trying to escape the scene of a crime.
The two men allegedly killed two and injured four during a robbery early Sunday morning on main Daska Road near Doburji Malhiyaan.
Police officials said that villagers chased the robbers as they tried to flee the scene of the crime.
District police officer (DPO) Waqar Ahmad Chohan said that the mob cornered the robbers outside the street and began pelting them with stones. “A large crowd started throwing stones and bricks at the men as they tried to escape. Both men were killed in the attack,” he said.
Chohan said that the crowd attacked the men with stones, bricks, iron rods, hockey sticks and wooden sticks.
Later in the day, locals placed the dead bodies of the accused dacoits on the main Sialkot-Daska Road and staged an anti-police demonstration. “The Sialkot Saddar police have failed to protect the lives of the people and they haven’t arrested the scores of criminals in the area,” said resident Liaqat, adding that the people had decided to take the law into their own hands.
Locals demanded immediate legal action against Sialkot police officials for failing to control the rising crime rate in the region.
The incident took place in Hajipura police precincts during sehri hours, when four masked men were looting a family of six on Butter Road. When the family, including Zeeshan Qadir, his wife and four children tried to resist the robbers, they opened fire on the family.
The robbers killed 19-year-old Bilal on the spot and Zeeshan died in the hospital two hours later.
According to Rescue 1122 officials, several people heard the gun shots in the street. “We all gathered to ask where the sounds were coming from when we saw the men trying to escape,” said Shahnawaz, a neighbor, adding that the crowd managed to stop two of the men.
“We found out they had killed our friends and we knew that the police would let them off so we killed them,” he said. The mob also hanged the bodies of the robbers as people came and pelted rocks at them in a public square.
“The protestors wanted to burn the dead bodies but we stopped them and dispersed the crowd,” said Sialkot district coordination officer (DCO) Mujahid Sher Dil. DPO Waqar Ahmad Chohan, district emergency officer Sialkot Syed Kamal Abid and senior district administration officials reached the spot and negotiated with the outraged people to recover the bodies of the alleged robbers.
DPO Chohan assured the crowd that stern legal action would be taken against police officials neglecting their duties. Four hours after being assured by police officials and the DCO, the crowd handed over the bodies to the police
The bodies of the alleged dacoits and their victims were sent to Allama Iqbal Memorial DHQ Hospital Sialkot for autopsy. The hospital administration has said that the four people seriously injured by the dacoits are presently in critical condition.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2010.