Torture claims: Man paralysed after police ‘used third-degree methods’

Nine police officials suspended, SP investigations summoned to Karachi.


Mehmood Pathan November 28, 2010

LARKANA: After a brief hiatus, the police are involved in a torture case yet again. About one month ago, a young man was allegedly tortured by the police during a robbery investigation in Sobho Mughairi village, Kambar-Shahdadkot district. The victim, Roshan Mughairi, is completely paralysed as a result.

According to his lawyer Habibullah Ghouri, the police beat him to the extent of breaking his backbone and damaging his spine.

After media reports highlighted the case, IG Sindh Salauddin Babar Khattak took notice of the incident and summoned Kambar-Shahdadkot SP Investigations Aijaz Tareen to Karachi.

Tareen, meanwhile, has suspended the nine police officials named in the FIR, including the Kambar SHO Ali Gauhar Junejo. The DPO Larkana has also promised to do more in the case.

Roshan’s family had filed a petition against the incident in court. When Roshan had to appear before the court, he was brought in on a stretcher. During the hearing, he could not give any statement. According to Ghauri, he is undergoing treatment at the moment, even though doctors have declared his ailment cureless. Earlier, he was even taken to Karachi for treatment. The doctors there sent him back after 15 days as he could not be cured.

After the court hearing, the Larkana High Court has asked DPO Kambar-Shahdadkot Azfar Mahesar to submit a detailed investigation report of the incident in three weeks.

What had happened?

A tractor had been stolen from the Sobho Mughairi village. After an FIR was filed at the Kambar police station regarding the theft, the police launched a search operation in nearby villages using sniffer dogs. The dogs were nearing Roshan’s house when he shot one of them dead. The police arrested him and used third-degree torture, paralysing him, according to Ghauri.

The other side of the picture

Talking to Express News, DPO Kambar-Shahdadkot Azfar Mahesar said, “This is only one side of the picture.” According to him, the police reached Sobo Mughairi with the help of sniffer dogs and trackers. When the dogs came near Roshan’s house, he shot one of the dogs from his rooftop. “To escape arrest, he jumped off the roof and injured himself,” maintained the DPO. “There is no torture case here.”

Mahesar said that he and his team are not followers of the school of thought that believes that physical abuse is the solution to all problems. “We follow modern and scientific investigation procedures and there is no provision for torture or any third-degree method,” he said. However, he assured that action will be taken against the people responsible, especially policemen.

“We will also start the proceedings on the other two FIRs — the tractor robbery and the killing of the sniffer dog. We will ensure fair and transparent investigations and submit a report soon.”

Published in The Express Tribune, November 28th, 2010.

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