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Police official booked over custodial death of suspect in Karachi after protests

Police have registered a murder case against a police official over the custodial death of a suspect following a protest by relatives and residents in Karachi that was also joined by lawmakers and political leaders, officials said on Sunday.

Bilal, 21, was arrested during an alleged encounter in the Buffer Zone area late on Thursday night. He sustained a bullet wound on his leg and was shifted to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital from where he was whisked away by police after receiving first aid, police surgeon Dr Aijaz Khokhar said.

On Friday night, Bilal’s condition deteriorated inside the police’s lock-up and he was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. Police claimed that the youth had died of a heart attack.

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A post-mortem examination was carried out in presence of a magistrate and the exact cause of death was reserved for chemical and histopathological reports, the police surgeon added.

The incident triggered a protest by relatives and residents who accused the police of killing him in a ‘fake encounter’.

On late Saturday night, several people led by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers Dr. Imran Shah and Haleem Adil Shaikh protested outside the Taimuria police station.

The PTI lawmakers also held talks with senior officials and a murder case was later registered against SHO Taimuria Chaudhry Tufail, the area police officer, Hadi Bux, said.

The officer added that a first information report (50/2019) had been registered against the suspended SHO under Section 302 (murder) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code on complaint of the victim’s brother.

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The Taimuria police official, Hadi Bux, claimed that the deceased had been involved in criminal activities in the past. Bilal had been booked under the Telegraph Act, and was allegedly involved in extortion in Shah Faisal Colony, Bux said, as he had demanded extortion money from someone over the telephone.

Another case had earlier been registered against the deceased at the Sohrab Goth police station over possession of drugs, he added.

However, Bilal’s protesting relatives maintained that he was innocent and had been detained near Haideri Market by police who later shot at and injured him in a ‘fake encounter’.

Meanwhile, Additional Inspector General Karachi Dr. Amir Shaikh appointed Deputy Inspector General West Amin Yusufzai, an inquiry officer, to conduct an impartial inquiry into the incident and submit a detailed report about the circumstances which led to death of the youth, the police spokesperson said

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