A child rape and murder suspect was shot and killed in an encounter on Wednesday night, four days after he allegedly escaped their custody.
Batala Colony Station House Officer Umar Daraz told The Express Tribune that Nadeem Masih alias Billa, a resident of Warispura, and an accomplice had opened fire at a police team who had asked them to stop for a security check.
He said Nadeem Masih was killed as police officials fired back in self defence. “His accomplice managed to flee,” he said.
Meanwhile, some relatives of the deceased and their Batala Colony neighbours demonstrated against the police and accused them of staging the encounter to kill the man.
Suhail Masih, a cousin of the deceased, accused the police of faking his escape from a lockup in Ghulam Muhammadabad station, some seven kilometres away from Batala Colony, where he was detained after his arrest by Batala Colony police last Thursday.
The SHO rejected the allegation and said that the deceased was detained at Ghulam Muhammadabad station over concerns of rioting by relatives of the child who was raped and killed. “Both families are settled in colonies near Batala Colony station. It was not safe to keep him here,” he said.
SHO Umar Daraz said the arrangement was made despite generally better security arrangements at Batala Colony station compared to Ghulam Muhammabad station.
Eight policemen had been arrested for negligence in performance of their duties following the deceased’s escape from Ghulam Muhammadabad on Saturday night. These included Constable Yaseen who had apparently slipped from stairs and injured himself while chasing the deceased.
The deceased had apparently admitted to the crime during questioning and led the police to a field near Chak No243-RB Jhok Kharlan where he said he had dumped the child’s remains.
He had allegedly kidnapped the six-year-old girl, daughter of a barbar, Akbar Ali, from the neighbouring Siddique Nagar, on June 23. The kidnapping FIR was lodged on June 25, the murder and rape charges were added after the deceased’s confession during questioning.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2012.