Youth dies from ‘police torture’
KARACHI, Jan 20: A young man died in police custody apparently due to severe torture in the early hours of Sunday, police and hospital sources said.
The news of the custodial death sparked anger in the victim’s family and area people, who attacked the Manghopir police station and torched two rickshaws parked outside it.
A team of the Manghopir police station picked up some suspects in Federal B Area’s Water Pump locality on Saturday evening and brought them to the police station for their alleged involvement in a robbery case.
While no FIR was registered and no entry was made in the police station’s daily diary, the police detained 20-year-old Khalid Hussain and released the others after allegedly taking a bribe.
Family sources said that the police raided his home in Mianwali Colony in Manghopir and took a television set from the house to the police station.
They said that the police demanded a bribe for releasing the victim, a housepainter, and when their demand was not met they subjected him to severe torture.
He underwent nightlong torture at the police station, where he was reportedly hanged upside down and then beaten. Finally, he died in the police station in the morning.
The police shifted the body to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for a post-mortem examination, which was conducted in the presence of a judicial magistrate.
While the cause of death was reserved till the receipt of the chemical examination report, hospital sources told Dawn that initial autopsy suggested that he had died from torture as the body bore multiple contusion marks. There were marks of ropes on his legs and some object had also been inserted into his throat during the torture, they added.
When the news of the custodial death reached Mianwali Colony in Manghopir, the victim’s family and residents of the locality took to the streets and turned violent. They gathered outside the Manghopir police station, pelted the building with stones and set fire to two rickshaws parked outside the police station.
Their strong protest forced the police authorities to take notice of the incident and they ordered the arrest of the policemen involved in it.
While four policemen were said to be involved in the incident, two of them managed to escape. The police arrested Assistant Sub-Inspector Mohammad Anwar and Constable Pervez.
A case (FIR 14/2013) was registered against the four policemen under Section 302 (premeditated murder) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code on a complaint of Khadim Hussain, a relative of the victim, at the Manghopir police station.
Footage aired by a private television channel showed ropes hanging from the ceiling of a room at the Manghopir police station, where the suspect was being subjected to torture.
DIG-West Javed Odho suspended Manghopir SHO Inspector Nasir Mehmood and also demoted him to the rank of sub-inspector.
Manghopir DSP Javed Abbas said that the victim was an innocent man and there was no FIR against him at the police station.