Prime suspect SHO Rana Ilyas escapes from custody

Published: August 22, 2010
Two brothers were brutally murdered in Sialkot in the presence of police.

Two brothers were brutally murdered in Sialkot in the presence of police.

The prime accused in the lynching of two brothers in Sialkot, SHO Rana Ilyas, managed to evade custody on Saturday and is currently at large. Ilyas, who fled from the office of the DSP Sialkot, was brought to the office so that he could be produced before a court for a judicial remand.  The District Coordination Officer (DCO) Sialkot, Mujahid Sher Dil, has confirmed that the lynched youths had no criminal record. Sher Dil held the Sialkot police responsible for the incident as police officials witnessed the whole incident as silent spectators.

Police claimed to have arrested two police officers and five others who were present at the time the two brothers were beaten to death in public. Police contingents also stepped up efforts to apprehend six other officers who witnessed the murder but made little attempt to stop the mob.

DPO Sialkot Afzal Mehmood Butt said that five suspects involved in torturing the brothers had been rounded up and both of them were currently being investigated. “The culprits are still under investigation and we cannot release their names as yet. But rest assured we are doing all that we can to bring them to justice,” he said.  Also on Saturday, a high-level committee, following the orders of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, opened its investigation into the brutal murder of the two young men. The committee is headed by Deputy Inspector General Major Mubashar along with DIG Establishment Shoaib Dastgir. The committee’s officials visited the crime scene (Doburji Malhiyaan Chowk on the main Daska Road on the outskirts of Sialkot city) and gathered evidence.

The committee also recorded the statements of the grieving family. The committee has also recorded statements of senior police officials, Sialkot DCO Mujahid Sher Dil and local Rescue 1122 officials.

The investigators have assured the public of a transparent probe. “The TV footage confirms the presence of senior police officials on the spot when the youths were lynched,” Mubashar said. The grieving family of the lynched youths alleged that the senior police officials were protecting their juniors, adding that police had refused to register a murder case under Sections 302 or 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

According to the family, the police registered a case against the SHO, a sub-inspector, four ASIs and eight other police officials under Section 155-C of the Police Ordinance. The section deals with misconduct by police officers when they are guilty of “any wilful breach or neglect of any provision of law or of any rule or regulation or any order which [they are] bound to observe or obey.” The maximum punishment under this section is three years in prison, with or without a fine.

After the chief justice’s intervention and a subsequent notification by the Punjab chief minister, an FIR however has been lodged in Saddar police station Sialkot under Sections 302 and 109 of the PPC (which deal with pre-meditated murder and abetment, respectively) against thirty people including 17 of those who were captured in the video footage. The other 13 accused are police officials, against whom a case – under 155-C of the Police Order – has already been registered. The 13 police officers include SHO Rana Ilyas Sub Inspector Gulzar, ASI Riaz Tariq, Sarfaraz, Waris Ali, Khaliq, Constable Rizwan, Nathay Khan, Mubarak Ali, Nawaz Salim and Abdul Razak.

While the family of the deceased boys and locals insists the boys were innocent, the family of the victim of a robbery, Bilal, contested this view. “You can go ask anyone, these boys were the robbers and they killed my husband. Why is my family being accused of spreading false rumours when we are the ones who lost someone? We didn’t kill those boys but they killed my husband,” said Bilal’s widow, adding that the media and locals had been threatening her family to keep quiet about the robbery incident that preceded the mob lynching of young brothers Mueez and Muneeb Butt.

President Asif Ali Zardari has also taken notice of the incident and issued a statement on Saturday, condemning the killing of the two young brothers. The president has also asked for an immediate report, ordering an inquiry into the murders. The presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said that the president was upset over the sad episode and firmly believed that “such an act of infamy, shame and brutality should not go unpunished.”

Published in The Express Tribune, August 22nd, 2010.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Ali Haider
    Aug 22, 2010 - 1:08PM

    Not only that it should not go unpunished, the punishment should be such that coming 10 generations of the culprits hear the resonance of it.

    ‘Koray’ in public, capital punishment, whatever it takes!Recommend

  • Arisha Ghazal
    Aug 22, 2010 - 2:04PM

    How can people take it upon themselves to be the judge and jury and give out punishment when there is a law enforecement agency for thatQ?!

    No matter, how you look at it, this was one of the most shameful acts against humanity. A barbaric display of human nature that has sadly become prevalent in recent times. First the dacoits were burnt alive in public then the flogging incidents and now this. Justice must be served. Recommend

  • shahzad raja
    Aug 22, 2010 - 2:51PM

    it just shows how corrupt and incompetent the police and the goverment is.Recommend

  • Prince Shahryar Rana
    Aug 22, 2010 - 3:30PM

    All pre planed games by Police. they are quick to catch innocent people but not the realculprit. Social bycott should be done as TV should name the real culpritsRecommend

  • sophia
    Aug 22, 2010 - 11:25PM

    And now inspector Ilyas escaping from police custody with the help of the police, where does this corruption end? Recommend

  • Prince Shahryar Rana
    Aug 23, 2010 - 3:23AM

    WHY SHO ran away, He himself does not belive in justice system of Pakistan. Shame for all POLICE and their Orthodocs system. This social injustice had ruined many lives in past and let it be stop now for everRecommend

  • KM
    Aug 23, 2010 - 1:07PM

    Corruption will only the day we actually the culprits be met with the same way as they did to the TWO innocent brothers. Only then will our society have fear in their souls, and will ensure good deeds prior to taking any step.Recommend

  • George Forrester
    Aug 24, 2010 - 10:14PM

    …inhumanity to fellow man. They are dying from floods, their President goes galavanting around the world and they come cap in hand to pay for this travesty of a nation!Recommend

  • Dr Mohammad Sohail
    Aug 26, 2010 - 5:42AM

    All those who were present & watching there they should also be hanged together with the police & beaters tooRecommend

  • Majid Sheikh
    Aug 27, 2010 - 2:08PM

    Does Pakistan have an FBI style National Investigation Agency?? This is what is needed, how can you trust corrupt District or local police officers to bring their own to justice.

    The Military Police should take over the investigation.Recommend

  • Ejaz Shaheen
    Aug 29, 2010 - 2:43PM

    These kind of incidents indicate that the real threat for the people is not from America or India. The real threat for this country has its roots deep inside our most sacred and respected institutions.
    Malcolm X once said “Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.”
    The Police Station of that area should be bombed to bloody rubble. The person who does this will be a real Fidayin, A real Martyr. Recommend

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