FAISALABAD: Dozens of people staged a protest demonstration on Thursday after an under-trial prisoner died at Toba Tek Singh district jail. They alleged that he was tortured to death. The protesters from New Garden Town, Toba Tek Singh, blocked the Rajana Road by placing Ghulam Mustafa’s body.
Ali Asghar, one of the protesters, said that Toba Tek Singh City police had arrested Mustafa on August 1, 2014 on charges of swindling a friend, Nawaz, in purchase of buffaloes for Rs1.1 million.
“The case was registered against Ghulam Mustafa, Liaquat and Zulfiqar. Police arrested Mustafa. He was later sent to jail on judicial remand,” he said.
“At district jail, police beat up Mustafa because a police constable, Abbas, who is the complainant’s brother,” Asghar said.
“Earlier, Abbas had detained Mustafa. A court bailiff had found him in illegal custody,” he said.
“On Wednesday, Mustafa’s condition deteriorated due to torture. The jail authorities did not shift him to hospital and he died,” Asghar said.
The protesters chanted slogans against the jail authorities and demanded stern action against them.
A police contingent, headed by the Toba Tek Singh City SHO, was sent to the spot. The SHO negotiated with the protesters and assured them that action would be taken against any policeman found involved in Mustafa’s torture.
When contacted, Toba Tek Singh District Jail Assistant Superintendent Asif Murtaza said that Mustafa was not tortured in the jail. “He had chronic ‘breathing problems’. When he reported sick, we called Rescue 1122. He was being shifted to hospital in their ambulance when he died,” Murtaza said.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 17th, 2015.
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