Lahore: Police topguns confess to killing youth in cold blood
LAHORE: Punjab police high ups have confessed that a youth was killed in a fake police encounter in the Nishtar Colony limits a couple of days back. Police Training School (PTS) Chuhng Principal DIG Major (r) Mubashir revealed this to the media at the Central Police Office here on Monday. He said a case had been lodged against four police officials, including a DSP, involved in the fake encounter.
Mubashir said that Punjab IGP Javed Iqbal had taken notice of the alleged fake encounter after the media highlighted the incident. He said the IGP had tasked him with the inquiry into the incident, ordering him to furnish the report within 24 hours. During the investigation, police team recorded the statements of public and police officials concerned, he said.
According to the inquiry report, three robbers had stormed into Makka Medical Store, near Yuhannaabad on Friday night. One of them stood outside the medical store and the other two, including Shahbaz, after making the store owner hostage at gunpoint, looted Rs 35,000.
Meanwhile, the owner tried to catch one of the robbers and Shahbaz started firing into the air in a bid to flee from the scene. On the other hand, the medical store owner’s brother got hold of Shahbaz while the two others managed to escape from the scene. Police, after being informed, reached the spot and arrested the accused, identified as Shahbaz Butt, 22, a resident of Shadbagh. Later, after one hour of the arrest, police staged an encounter and killed Shahbaz near Rohi drain.
Mubashir said that no criminal record was found of the accused Shahbaz. He also said that he had not received the autopsy report so far which could further help in ascertaining the cause of death.
Following the inquiry report, a case was registered under sections 302/34 and 109 of the PPC against four police officials, namely DSP Riasat Ali Javed, Sub-Inspector Muhammad Riaz and two constables, Abdul Qadir and Asif.
The DIG also recommended in the inquiry report that eight other police officials should be bound to appear before the investigation team if called, however, they could continue performing their duties. These eight police officials were Inspector Naveed Ahmad, Sub-Inspector Zulfiqar Ali and five constables identified as Ashraf, Abdur Rehman, Sifarish Ali, Abdur Raoof and Muhammad Nawaz.
The DIG said that the victim’s uncle also confirmed the name of one accused robber who was a close friend of Shahbaz. On the day of the staged encounter, Nishtar Colony Police had claimed that the robber had opened indiscriminate fire on police party which had led to an encounter. It is worth mentioning here that newly-inducted CCPO Lahore Malik Ahmad Raza Tahir has directed police to adopt offensive policing against the criminals which has made police officials trigger-happy. Around seven accused have been killed in staged encounters since CCPO Malik Ahmad Tahir has assumed the charge.
Chief Justice of Lahore High Court Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry had also taken suo motu notice of the incident and summoned the IGP, home secretary, chief secretary on Tuesday (today).