Lahore: Death in ‘encounter’ Bullets fired at youth from close range
LAHORE: An alleged criminal who was killed in a ‘police encounter’ near Rohi Drain in Nishtar Colony late on Friday suffered not less than eight bullets from a point-blank range and bruises on his body, sources privy to autopsy told Dawn on Saturday.
Lahore High Court Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry has taken suo motu notice of the incident and summoned the Punjab home secretary, the chief secretary and the inspector general of Punjab police on June 14.
The body of Shahbaz Butt, 22, a factory worker and resident of Shadbagh, was handed over to his family after a postmortem examination amid police security.
The family of the deceased alleged that Nishtar Colony police officials detained Butt after a ‘quarrel’ at a medical store in Yohanaabad and later shot him dead after subjecting him to torture declaring him a robber.
Fiaz Butt, an uncle of Shahbaz, told Dawn at the Jinnah Hospital’s morgue that his nephew left his home around 7:15pm along with his friend, Safyan, to see a common friend in Yohanaabad.
He said the three friends went to a medical store to buy some medicine where they had an argument with the shopkeeper over some issue. A scuffle ensued between the two sides following which medical store owner Anwar raised an alarm, he added.
Fiaz said some policemen deputed at a nearby picket rushed to the spot and bundled Shahbaz into a police vehicle after thrashing him while his friends fled the scene.
He said the police took him to the police station where he was again tortured. Later, a call was made to Rescue 15 about an ‘encounter’ taking place near Rohi Drain in which a ‘robber’ was killed.
He claimed that Anwer even did not recognise Shahabaz as a robber when the police brought his body at his shop. Fiaz appealed to the chief justice of Pakistan to take notice of police brutality and dispense justice.
Rana Shahbaz, a brother-in-law of the deceased, claimed the victim had no criminal record and that he had to fly to Dubai after a week or so.
Sources privy to the autopsy told Dawn the body had no less than 16 bullet wounds caused from a point-blank range, mostly to its chest and back.
There were also some bruises on the body, they added. Model Town Operations SP Malik Awais told this reporter that three robbers committed a robbery at Makka Medical Store in Yohanabad during which they shot at and wounded owners Anwer and Munawar for offering resistance.
He said some policemen managed to capture one of the fleeing suspects who was got released by his accomplices.
The SP claimed crossfire took place between the two sides as a result of which the suspect, Shahbaz, was killed while two others, who also snatched a bike after committing the robbery, fled the scene.
He said three separate cases were registered against the accused – one under Section 394 of the PPC on Munawar’s complaint, second of motorcycle snatching on Naeem’s complaint and a third of an encounter was lodged by the police.
According to the FIR of encounter case, Shahbaz was killed by the firing of his two accomplices. The body of the deceased was shifted to Shadbagh by police. Officials said a detailed postmortem report would be available after a few days.