Islamabad DC orders probe into death of man in police custody

ISLAMABAD: Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Hamza Shafqaat has ordered an inquiry into the death of a man in police custody a few days ago.

When contacted, Mr Shafqaat told Dawn that he has directed the subdivisional magistrate to conduct an inquiry within a month and submit a report to his office.

The police claimed that the man was arrested for keeping an illegal weapon on Nov 6. During the interrogation, he confessed to his involvement in a robbery committed on Oct 9.

The suspect was being taken to the crime scene when he jumped from the moving car at F-10/3 with the intention to escape, said the police.

As a result, he suffered injuries and fell unconscious. He was being taken to hospital but died.

The sources said the man was brought dead to Pims at 9:15pm on Nov 6 and an autopsy was conducted the next day. There was no family member of the deceased during the autopsy and when the police collected the body from the hospital, said the sources.

The autopsy found marks of injuries on the body. Sources in the police told 58 digital the autopsy report showed 10 injuries on the body.

“The scalp was found traumatic and ruptured from inside besides there were multiple contusions in the brain,” they said.

Bruises and abrasions on the left side of the left eye, left arm and back of the right shoulder were also seen. There were also a wound and abrasion on the front side of the left leg between the knee and ankle and bruises on the front of the right leg between the knee and ankle.

Bruises were also found at the sole of the left and right toes as well as on the right and left buttocks.

When contacted, former medico-legal officer Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) Dr Wasim Khawaja told Dawn that in cases of police torture injuries were usually spotted on the buttocks, soles of feet and the front side of the lower parts of legs. Police use blunt weapons, either made with wood or leather, to hit someone to extract information, he added.

In 2010, the capital police obtained undertakings from all station house officers (SHOs), in-charges of the Crime Investigation Agency, Crime Investigation Department and the Anti-Car Lifting Cell, stating they would not resort to torturing suspects in custody.

The step was taken on the direction of the Supreme Court to the capital police.

The undertakings stated that the officials would not operate any personal or secrete police torture cells under the pretext of investigations and would not subject any suspect to torture during investigation. When contacted, Deputy Inspector of General (Operations) Waqaruddin Syed expressed ignorance about the status of an inquiry into the case ordered by the inspector general of the police (IGP).

When told that he was appointed as the chairman of the inquiry committee and the report was to be submitted in the IGP office within a week, the DIG said he would check the status of the investigation.

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