June 15, 2020

By Shafique Shar


In a twisted turn of events, Pir Bux Khaskheli, who had been taken into police lockup at the Piromal police station in Sanghar for his alleged hand in a murder, was discovered with a noose around his neck, hanging lifeless from the ceiling of the lockup’s bathroom. Now, Pir Bux’s family allege that the 50 year old man was arrested under a false charge and then murdered by the police on a bribe from his enemies.

Two weeks prior to Bux’s demise, another murder had transpired and an FIR had subsequently been registered under section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code for qatl-i-amd at the Piromal police station. Pir Bux Khaskheli, along with other suspects, was arrested during investigation. His body was discovered two days later at the police station’s lockup in an apparent “suicide”. Upon receiving word of his death, the deceased’s family staged a protest outside the Piromal police station.

“The SHO and head clerk Sacchal took a hefty bribe from our enemies and killed my father, we want justice,” Munawar, Pir Bux’s son, said. He refused to believe the police’s explanation that his father had killed himself and alleged that the police officials were drunk at the time of the murder.

On the other hand, Sanghar SSP Usman Ghani Siddiqui, clarified that Pir Bux was not nominated in the FIR under which he was arrested. “The suspect was under investigation for murder. He had gone to the bathroom around four in the morning. A sentry went in to check and discovered his body. We are still investigating the matter.”

Shafqat Metlo, a high court lawyer and rights advocate, questioned why Pir Bux would commit suicide if the police had already admitted he was not named a suspect in the FIR. “A judicial inquiry in required in this case,” he said.

Civil society organizations and workers have posited that jails are meant to protect, and that the murder of an inmate while in custody is shocking. As such, a judicial probe should be launched and the one responsible for Pir Bux’s death be brought to justice.