Rawalpindi: Policemen pay for Gujar Khan violence
RAWALPINDI: The Punjab government on Thursday took action against three police officers of Rawalpindi for `mishandling` a protest demonstration against prolonged power outages in Gujar Khan on Wednesday which resulted in the killing of two young men besides torching of public property including Iesco, police offices, vehicles and a judicial lock-up.
A request was also made to Lahore High Court for a judicial inquiry into the violence. The government announced a compensation of Rs500,000 for the heirs of the two deceased.
According to a handout issued from Lahore, SP (rural) Hilal Khan was made OSD while DSP Raja Tahir Bashir and SHO Gujar Khan Malik Asif Mahmood were transferred to Waris Khan and Mandra, respectively.
The Gujar Khan city became tense when the body of one of the two victims identified as Junaid, 24, was brought home from the DHQ hospital Rawalpindi at about 9pm. The angry residents chanted slogans against police authorities. Heavy contingents of police patrolled the city throughout the day while schools and colleges remained closed.
Mirza Zaman Raza, SHO Banni, who was assigned the task to re-arrest the 21 under-trial prisoners who fled from the judicial lock-up during the riots, caught 10 of them and also recovered a semi-automatic rifle that was snatched from the lock-up guards.
On the other hand, five cases – two by the power utility company and three by the police – were registered under various charges raging from blocking traffic to violence against the rioters. The police said five of the protesters had been arrested.
Adviser to the Punjab chief minister Raja Ishfaq Sarwar held a meeting with city police chief Azhar Hameed and commissioner Rawalpindi Zahid Saeed and reviewed the law and order situation.
Besides others, former district nazim Raja Javaid Ikhlas, Tariq Kiani, MPA, former minister of state Shehzad Wasim, senior officials of electricity department and the police attended the meeting.
The adviser informed the participants that a request had been made to Lahore High Court for a judicial inquiry into the incident to ascertain the circumstances which led to the violence.
Meanwhile, the body of one of the second victim, said to be 14 years of age, still remains unidentified. According to the preliminary postmortem report, the victims had died from gunshots. However, it is yet to be investigated whether they were shot by the police or someone from the propesters. Another critically injured victim, Nasim Akhtar, 26, was shifted to the DHQ hospital on Thursday.