Three policemen arrested for setting an alleged ‘thief’ on fire. PHOTO: NEFER SEHGAL
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Sunday ordered a high-level inquiry into the incident of police baton-charging protesters, including women, in Chiniot a day earlier.
Hundreds of villagers protested outside the office of city’s District Police Officer (DPO) on Saturday after Ehsan Anwar, a resident of Chak No 129 JB Koora, was shot by the police on October 4 and succumbed to his injuries at the hospital four days later.
DPO Chiniot Shehzad Akbar, who had insisted earlier that the police had not over-stepped its authority in dispersing protesting villagers and indiscriminately baton-charging at them, suspended the station house officer (SHO) Saddar police station and another three personnel responsible for the incident.
The DPO also moved a report before the district and sessions judge to hold a judicial inquiry into the killing of Ehsan Anwar.
Meanwhile, the area magistrate refused to grant judicial remand of four arrested females to the police and set them free on personal surety bonds.
The police had arrested the women on Saturday on charges of blackmailing the police, blocking the road and pelting stones at police personnel, vehicles and the DPO office.
Eyewitnesses, however, said that the police indiscriminately baton-charged the protestors after they refused to disperse, and shoved the women into the police vans.
Mother, fiancé say it was ‘personal’
Maqboolan Bibi, mother of the deceased Anwar, said her house was raided by the police four days ago while her son’s nikah (wedding ceremony) was going on. The police opened indiscriminate fire, critically injuring her son who died four days later, she said.
Nasrullah, a police constable, wanted to stop her son’s marriage and used police force for his personal motives, she alleged.
Meanwhile Zareena, the deceased’s cousin and fiancé, demanded that the chief minister Punjab take action against the policemen who killed her fiancé and publicly tortured women.
The area’s elected representative to the provincial assembly, Muhammad Elyas Chinioti, termed the incident as ‘highly objectionable’ and said he would raise a voice against police brutality, at the Punjab Assembly.
Cops arrested for setting youth ablaze
Three police officials were arrested after a case was registered against them on charges of setting a young man on fire, in police custody.
Sixteen-year-old Azeem, an alleged accused in a theft case, was taken into custody by the Nishatabad police about 4 days ago.
The accused was allegedly tortured while in custody at police post Pul Dingro, and set ablaze when he refused to confess to being a member of a gang of motorcycle lifters.
Azeem was shifted to the Allied Hospital in a critical condition and, according to doctors, a significant part of his body was severely burnt.
DPO Faisalabad Rae Tahir Hussain suspended assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Saeed Anwar and two other officials and ordered deputy superintendent police Nishatabad Circle, Malik Khalid, to conduct an inquiry into the incident.
Nishatabad police also registered a case against the accused police officials and arrested them.
Relatives of the victim say that ASI Anwar set Azeem on fire out of ‘personal revenge’ but police sources say that Azeem set himself on fire to escape punishment, after the police recovered two stolen motorcycles from his possession
Published in The Express Tribune, October 10th, 2011.