Peshawar: Prisoner dies of police `torture`
PESHAWAR: A prisoner died here at the medico-legal ward of Lady Reading Hospital late on Saturday night, allegedly of severe torture. Grief-stricken and enraged relatives of the deceased prisoner, Zafar Khan, later blocked the Sher Shah Suri Road near the Peshawar Central Prison, demanding an impartial inquiry in the incident.
Official sources told Dawn that the postmortem report of the deceased proved that he died of severe violence and torture. Witnesses said that the body of the deceased carried several marks of violence on different parts. Four days ago, another prisoner, hailing from Swabi district, had died under mysterious circumstances.
The deceased, aged about 24, was an embroiderer and also used to work as a cleaner with a local passenger pick-up. He was a resident of Sheikh Amirabad locality near Yakatoot area. He was arrested by Gulbahar police on June 4 along with the driver of the said vehicle on charges of possessing 500gm charas.
An FIR was registered against them under section 9-B of the Control of Narcotics Substance Act. They were produced before the magistrate on June 5 and were sent to prison by the court.
“A few days ago, his mother met him at the prison. He was alright and not suffering from any illness,” said Shah Hussain, a cousin of the deceased. He said that they would lodge the FIR against officials of the central prison after a meeting of elders of the family.
An official at the prison told Dawn that the prisoner died a natural death. “The prisoner was not feeling well and was shifted to Lady Reading Hospital on June 17,” said a prison official, adding that they received the report from hospital about his death on Sunday morning.
Family members of the ill-fated prisoner said that the jail authorities also tried to get a thumb impression on a paper from them over which they had written that the prisoner had died a natural death.
They alleged that they had received the information that the deceased was taken out of his barrack during the night by some prison officials and severely tortured. Later, they said, when his condition got precarious, he was shifted to the hospital, where he died.