Police torture man to death: Third case in a month -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Police torture man to death: Third case in a month

LAHORE, May 5: An alleged criminal was tortured to death by some personnel of Jiya Bagga checkpost (City Raiwind police station) on Monday.

This is the third case of `custodial death’ in just over a month in the Lahore police jurisdiction.

Rafique Masih, 30, of Lakhuwa Aasal village, was brought to the checkpost on charges of committing a robbery and possessing illegal weapons.

During investigation, Jiya Bagga checkpost ASI Jafar Husain and constables Mubashir and Nadeem allegedly subjected him to severe torture.

“The lower part of Rafique’s body had serious torture marks which caused his death,” a police official told Dawn.

Officials of Raiwind police brought the body to the city mortuary at around 4pm and claimed that the man had died of a cardiac arrest.

City Raiwind supervisory police officer Syed Aoun Muhammad Shah told this reporter that the possibility of torture could not be ruled out and a murder case had been registered against the three policemen.

According to him, four robbers looted cash and cell phones from Amjad Ali and his wife, who visited the Lahore Park on Raiwind Road, on Sunday afternoon.

After raising an alarm by the victims, officials of the park gathered there and managed to capture one of the accused — Rafique Masih — while his three accomplices managed their escape.

People gave a sound thrashing to the robber as a result he sustained injuries, the SPO said and added that the accused was later handed over to Jiya Bagga in-charge Jafar along with a weapon.

The SPO claimed that robbery victim Amjad Ali, instead of registering a case the same day, left for home.

He said Jafar and his constables interrogated Rafique the whole day and night without registering a case during which he confessed to committing three more robberies.

“In the morning, Rafique fell unconscious and died on way to a hospital,” he said.

The SPO said the police should have taken the accused to the hospital for medico-legal certificate soon after the people had captured him. He said robbery victim Amjad lodged an FIR on Monday morning.

He said a murder case had been registered against the accused police officials, including ASI Jafar and constable Mubashir, on the complaint of Rafique’s father Soba Masih with no arrest so far.

Earlier, Punjab Prisons Minister Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor, who belonged to the same constituency, visited the police station after hearing the news and ordered registration of a case against the accused policemen.

The minister said he would pursue the case in the light of the post-mortem report.
Source: Dawn
Date:5/6/2008