Lahore: ‘Robber was shot when he posed no threat’
LAHORE: “Shahbaz Butt, caught during a robbery attempt in Youhanabad on June 10, was shot when he posed no threat. He had been released and told to flee near Rohi Drain by Nishtar Town police at the instruction of the investigation in-charge,” Sub Inspector Riaz Ahmed has claimed in his statement.
In the statement submitted to the investigating officer, SI Ahmed, one of the four officials now in custody on suspicions of murder, said Station House Officer Naveed Akmal and Sub Inspector (Investigation) Akbar Ali, also present during the encounter, later approached Butt and shot him in the head.
He said he had neither shot at the robbery suspect nor issued or relayed such instructions to anybody. “The SHO told staff to celebrate the killing of a robber in the encounter and hugged the investigation in-charge,” the statement said.
The SI said the police first took Butt’s body to Nishter Town police station and later sent it to the mortuary. He said DSP Riasat Ali Javed and DSP (Model Town) Shahzada Saleem later directed him to lodge two FIRs against the deceased.
“They said an FIR shall be registered on complaint of investigation in-charge Zulfiqar Ali and the other on complainant of the SHO,” the statement said. He said none of the complaints mentioned a motorcycle snatching.
However, the SI said, investigation in-charge Ali and SHO Akmal later tore the two complaints and asked him to lodge a motorcycle snatching case against the deceased on the complaint of a citizen named Naeem.
He said the two directed him to complete the paperwork and said that they had already sought permission from DSP Javed in that regard.
“I was on my way to Nishter Town with Butt when a constable sent me a wireless message that I should hand Butt over to investigation in-charge, Zulifqar Ali,” the statement said. It said Butt was earlier handed over to SI Ahmed by Muhafiz police officials who had been called to the scene by citizens who caught Butt.
SI Ahmed said he gave Butt into Ali’s custody near a mosque close to the police station. “I was told to follow Ali and Butt in my vehicle,” it said.
He said when the two vehicles reached Atta Bakhsh Road, investigation in-charge Ali told him to send a message on his wireless set that a man had been caught trying to snatch a motorbike. On his disagreement, Ahmed said, Ali called SHO Akmal who directed him to follow Ali’s instructions. SI Ahmed said he was directed to cite the registration number of SI (Investigation) Akber Ali’s motorbike (BRE 2262).
An inquiry into the killing of the robbery suspect in the encounter later concluded that the robbery took place in Youhanabad on June 10 but the motorcycle snatching and the subsequent encounter were suspect. The inquiry was conducted by Deputy Inspector General of Police Maj (retired).
A case was then registered against DSP Riasat Ali Javed, Sub-Inspector Riaz Ahmed and Constables Abdul Qadir and Muhammad Asif on charges of killing Butt in a fake encounter.