June 18, 2020
By Umar Bacha from Shangla
A 52-year-old man in police custody, Said Ali Akbar Shah was allegedly tortured to death at police station Karora in Shangla district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Wednesday night. The man had been arrested with 110-gram hashish on Thursday by the local police.
According to the First Information Report (FIR) registered against the Nasib Shah, the additional Station House Officer, (SHO) the victim’s brother, Said Muhammad Shah, stated that his brother Said Ali Akbar Shah was arrested by Add. SHO Nasib Shah in Karora bazaar.
“I am an eye witness. My brother was arrested by the Add. SHO and he beat him up while taking him to the police station. The next day when I went to the police station to meet my brother, he told me that the Add. SHO Nasib Shah had tortured him badly the whole night,” he claimed in his FIR.
He alleged that Nasib Shah had also given death threats to his brother.
The victim’s brother, in the meantime said on Wednesday night he was informed by the police that his brother had ‘died in the lock-up’
“When I reached the police station I found my brother’s body was inside the lockup with a piece of cloth around his neck. The police tried to show he had hanged himself, but it looked like a cover up,” said Shah.
A picture of the suspect was acquired where he is photographed holding up charges that he was arrested for. However his face was cropped after Voicepk.net filed a story against Shangla police publicizing arrested people’s faces on social media.
District police officer (DPO), Shangla, Malak Ihjaz when contacted by Voicepk.net, said that action has been taken in the case and FIR under Section 302 has also lodged against the additional SHO but still there is a delay because of the autopsy report.
He added that senior civil judge Shangla Sheraz had also visited the police station and had launched an inquiry in the case.
Advocate Sultan-i-Room, a senior lawyer and social activist, told Voicepk.net that extrajudicial killings and physical torture in custody was very common in Pakistan.
He said, police senior officials developed pressure on SHOs and inspectors for progress and such crimes were counted in progress, and then police physically torture the suspects in custody which was not only a violation of the law but also of basic human rights.
A truck driver arrested last night by KP’s Shangla district police for hashish smuggling, and was found dead in the morning who was hanged from the lock up door. Family accusing SHO for torturing him to death.
— Izharullah (@Izhar2u) June 18, 2020
The rights activist also said that extra-judicial killings were emerging in KP because of lack of police reforms.
Fake encounters and extra-judicial killings are very prevalent particularly in the Sindh and Punjab regions and even those who have not yet been proved criminals are killed in custody and fake encounters.
One of these was Salahuddin Ayoub, a mentally ill man who was tortured to death in Punjab last year in September 2019.
Salahuddin was arrested in the charges of robbery from ATM the video of which had gone viral over social media.
There is no credible data available for custodial deaths, but HRCP recorded 183 victims of police encounters in Pakistan in 2018.
On Thursday, hundreds of people in the Karora area gathered outside the police station and blocked the Bisham-Swat road for agitation.
Protesters shouted slogans against the SHO and police department and declared the police responsible for the custodial death of the victim.
The main road remained blocked for six hours. Protesters only dispersed after there was a registration of an FIR against the Additional SHO.