The family of a man accused of robbery protested outside the office of the Rahim Yar Khan district police officer on Eid day after a police team allegedly broke into their house the night before, beat the men, harassed the women and took away gold and other valuables.
The protesters chanted slogans against the police’s ‘high handedness’ and defiance of court orders barring them (the police) from harassing the family.
They accused the police of breaking into their house in Basti Amanat Ali looking for Ahsan Jahanzeb, a robbery suspect who had reportedly escaped from the police station a few days ago.
Jahanzeb’s father, Tufail Ahmad, said that men from B-Division police entered their house on Chaand Raat and asked for Jahanzeb.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Ahmed said he had told the police that he had disowned his son after he was named in the robbery case, but they ignored him. He said he had told them he had no idea of his son’s whereabouts. He said the police forcibly entered the house. When the family tried to stop them, he said, they beat the men and harassed the women.
He said the men abused the family and accused them of hiding Jahanzeb.
“We had not known that Jahanzeb had fled until the police told us,” he said.
He said the policemen took away nine tolas gold jewellery, two motorcycles, cell phones and Rs60,000.
Ahmed said a Lahore High Court bench had previously ordered the police not to harass the family, but they did not follow the orders.
Ahmed appealed to the chief minister and the Lahore High Court to take notice of the incident and punish the police officials who had harassed and robbed the family.
He said they (police) should also be punished for contempt of court.
B-Division Station House Officer Chaudhry Ghulam Mohiuddin denied the allegations.
He told The Tribune that a police team had visited the house to see if the fugitive was there, but they did not enter the house.
He said the suspect’s father was called out and was asked about his son’s whereabouts. He said he was told that his son had run away from police custody and that if he contacted the family, they should inform the police. He said the police had requested them to cooperate. He said only one motorcycle was seized at the time Jahanzeb was arrested.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2012.