Feb 2, 2024
By Kamran Ali
Rahim Gul, also known as Pappu was shot dead by security forces camped in the Government Postgraduate College late night on Monday, January 29, 2024, for entering a restricted area after midnight.
Officials said that Gul was clad in a shawl, covering the head and face – and that despite a warning shot, he did not stop, and as a result, he was shot. They also stated that the area where the incident occurred had been used by a suicide bomber to target security forces last year.
Some members of the community who were acquainted with Gul mentioned that he struggled with mental health issues.
Senior lawyer Shabbir Hussain Gigyani termed Gul’s killing as an extrajudicial killing. “When a court of law awards someone capital punishment, that is judicial. However, incidents without lawful authority fall into the category of extrajudicial killings,” Gigyani stated.
Gigyani believes that no one is authorised to take another’s life unless it is in self-defense. “The initial approach is to apprehend a suspect without causing harm. If that is not possible, minimal harm to non-vital parts of the body, such as firing at arms or legs, can be considered,” he explained.
Gigyani said that forces including police misuse and misquote section 100 of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) because forces have to establish a case of defense. “In Rahim Gul’s case, there seems no matter of defense,” Gigyani doubts.
Section 100 of PPC extends the right of private defence of the body to causing death.
Shabbir Gigyani said that he has served as counsel in cases involving alleged fake encounters and extrajudicial killings in many cases. But, “the main challenge of establishing and proving these incidents as extrajudicial is the reluctant of witnesses to come forward due to fear. Also inadequate investigations often result in acquittals,” he said, adding that in most cases the families of victims opt for compromise because they see minimal chances of securing a conviction against the accused.
Akhtar Ali Shah, a lawyer and former Inspector General of Police in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said, “While every citizen possesses the right of self-defense, it must be recognised that this right does not extend to taking someone’s life in the first instance.”
Abdul Wahab Tarkalani, a criminal lawyer, said that encounters or ‘accidental’ killings are often perceived as ‘fake.’ “Those implicated should face charges under Section 302 of the PPC. But, generally the investigation officers are reluctant to build a strong case against their superiors,” he added.
After the killing, locals staged a sit-in at Shaheed Abid Ali Chowk and blocked the roads to Lakki Marwat city, Bannu, D.I. Khan and Peshawar. The protestors were dispersed after the intervention of district administration officials and police. A committee was formed comprising elders of Dallokhel village and members of Marwat Qaumi Jirga.
According to local journalists, more than 10 cases of extrajudicial killings were documented in Lakki Marwat in Khybar Pakhtunkhwa last year, with the most recent victim being Gul.