Jobless, homeless: Man sets himself on fire ‘to protest police excesses’

Deceased’s brother-in-law says police had been forcing him to vacate ancestral home.


Akbar Bajwa June 15, 2014
Rescue-1122 said Tariq had suffered 90 per cent burns.

LAHORE:


A youth committed suicide on Sunday allegedly under police pressure to vacate his ancestral house.


Police said Salman Tariq, 27, doused himself with kerosene oil early on Sunday and set himself on fire near Pir Hanjer shrine in Mustafa Town. He was taken to Mayo Hospital where he passed away.

Rescue-1122 said Tariq had suffered 90 per cent burns.

“On his way to hospital, he accused Sabzazar Deputy Superintendent (DSP) Mazharul Islam of pressuring him to vacate the house,” a Rescue-1122 official said.

“He was saying he wanted to die as he could no longer stand police raids and the continuous harassment.”

Naghman Zaidi, a brother-in-law of Salman Tariq, said the deceased had been jobless for a year.

“He had an MBA degree but no job. He had been living in his ancestral house in E-Block, Canal View Housing Society, after his parents passed away a year ago,” Zaidi told The Express Tribune.

Tariq had written a note to his family before committing suicide. It said his elder brothers Col (r) Ubaidullah and Air Commodore Moeen were pressuring him to leave the house as they wanted to sell the property.

Zaidi said that Tariq had refused to vacate the house, saying that he had no other place to live.

“His brothers sought police’s help. The police had been pressuring him to vacate the property,” Zaidi said.

Sobia, the wife of the deceased, said that the police had summoned him to the Mustafa Town police station several times.

“Yesterday (Saturday), the DSP called him and kept him at his office for five hours. Later, they raided our house at midnight and then again at 4am.”

She said Tariq had gone to a mosque after the police left. “Then he went to a graveyard near Pir Hanjer shrine and set himself on fire.”

DSP Islam denied that the police had unduly pressured the deceased.

He told The Express Tribune that the deceased’s brothers had filed a complaint requesting action against Tariq.

“They said Tariq had occupied the house illegally and sought police action against him,” said the DSP who was made an officer on special duty (OSD) on Sunday.

Asked if he had been made an OSD over the suicide, Islam said the transfer was a “routine” matter. “It has nothing to do with Tariq’s death,” he said.

The DSP said police had asked both the sides to take the matter to a court.

Cantonment Division Superintendent Awais Malik said police had never pressured or harassed Salman Tariq. He had a property dispute with his brothers and that was why he had set himself on fire, said the SP.

“Ubaidullah has told us that Tariq killed himself because he had been jobless for so far.”

Published in The Express Tribune, June 16th, 2014.

COMMENTS (4)

Moiz Omar | 8 years ago | Reply

Sad. What a tragic end to a life.

Lahorewala | 8 years ago | Reply

This is the true face of our society, brother agianst brother, the deceased brothers are Col (R) and Air Commodore which are quite prestigous positions in the armed forces, police is the tool used to victimise the weak and poor and to protect , support the powerful. Police should have played a sensible role but SP Police is just another broken and rusted parts of the machinery of this state (police system).

May Allah guide us as a nation!!!!!!!

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