Death in custody: DSP briefly detained for ignoring summons

Pakistan on 10 September 2013
Location : Lahore, Pakistan | Source : Express Tribune. Image Source: Express Tribune

A DSP was briefly detained by Additional District and Sessions Judge Sadiq Masood on Monday for failing to turn up to some half a dozen hearings of a private complaint regarding a teenager’s killing in police custody.

The court had issued several non-bailable arrest warrants for DSP Imran Karamat as he had missed six or seven hearings. He turned up before the court in plainclothes on Monday, upon which the judge ordered the naib court to immediately arrest him. The DSP asked the naib court not to put him in handcuffs, saying he would cooperate with him fully. The police official was led to a back room, where he later filed for and obtained bail from the same judge till September 16.

Petitioner Dilshad Begum has accused several policemen of illegally detaining her 17-year-old son, torturing him in custody and then dumping his body at a shoe factory early in 2011. The court had dismissed the bail petitions of Lower Mall SHO Naveed Azam Chaudhry, Sub Inspectors Muhammad Ashraf and Syed Nasir Ali, and Assistant Sub Inspectors Ghulam Nabi and Muhammad Akbar, in the case.

In a private complaint, Begum submitted that she had nominated 19 policemen in her application for a case, but several names, including that of DSP Imran Karamat, had not been entered in the FIR. And some of those who had been included in the FIR had been cleared by a police inquiry, she said. She asked the court to include all 19 policemen in the FIR and to order a fresh inquiry by an impartial officer.

According to the police inquiry, Tahir Naveed, 17, had been detained without his arrest being registered. Naveed was beaten so badly over the course of 10 days in detention that he suffered internal injuries and died of kidney failure, the inquiry report stated. The policemen then dumped his body at a shoe factory.

The FIR on Dilshad Begum’s complaint had initially been registered under Sections 302 (murder) and 34 (conspiracy) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
However, the inquiry report stated that the policemen had not intended to kill Naveed, so they were charged under Sections 319 (negligent homicide) and 344 (illegal detention) of the PPC and Section 302 was removed.

According to Dilshad Begum, Lower Mall police had registered a murder case against her son on the say so of an Inspector Maqsood Gujjar, who lived in the same neighbourhood, because he had differences with Naveed.

She alleged that Gujjar had implicated her son in other false cases before, but he had been released as there was no evidence against him.

She said that in March 2011, after a murder FIR was registered against Naveed, she took him to the police station herself.

The police inquiry report later cleared Inspector Gujjar of any wrongdoing.
Begum said in her complaint that her son was kept in detention for two months and he was tortured.

She said Naveed had eventually contacted his parents and told them that the police officials were demanding Rs500,000 to release him. She said that as they were arranging for the money, they heard that Naveed’s body had been found at a shoe factory.

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