HYDERABAD: Protesters set ablaze a police checkpost of Nooriabad police station on Hyderabad-Karachi Super Highway following an alleged custodial death of a villager on Tuesday.
Indignant protesters also bulldozed the checkpost after torching it. They have paralysed Super Highway by blocking its two lanes, causing great inconvenience to commuters.
Till filing of this report, traffic on the highway remained suspended.
Reports said that the deceased is identified as Ghaffar Gabol, who according to his brother Abdul Sattar, was resident of Lal Bux Gabol, Kathore in Malir district of Karachi.
He was going to a cement factory off Karachi Hyderabad Super Highway from Malir district.
His brother said that he was intercepted at the checkpost by policemen for the purpose of checking.
He said that police stop different vehicles in order to harass them and likewise his brother was asked to produce documents of the car.
"Ghaffar told them that since he has bought the car a few days back he hasn't got the documents," said Sattar. He added that Ghaffar spoke to him as well over the phone and assured the police that the documents would be shown to them.
After some time, he said, he was told that his brother has fallen unconscious and by the time he had reached Nooriabad, he was told that his brother died of cardiac arrest.
The news of his death spread like wildfire among other villagers, who started converging on Super Highway.
They placed the body on the main road and blocked both lanes of Super Highway, which has led to a long queue of vehicles.
A local community chief, Sardar Qadir Bux Gabol, has seen the body and stated that it bears marks of violence on the face and head.
He said policemen usually stop people at checkposts to mint money under different pretexts.
"SSP Jamshoro is coming to talk to us but he hasn't arrived," he said.
Protesters have refused to end the protest unless a case is lodged against SHO police station Nooriabad, Sarwar Rahupoto, which is said to be responsible for the alleged custodial death.
SSP Jamshoro Khurram Waris, who was on his way to Nooriabad from Jamshoro, told Dawn.com that according to information he had received, the man had died of cardiac arrest while he was being stopped for checking.
"I have heard some claims as to torture on the deceased but let me reach there and I will verify it. If policemen have done it then they will have to face it as well," he said.
He added that according to an initial report Ghaffar Gabol died of a heart attack.
Acording to Sattar Gabol, the SSP has ordered registration of FIR against policemen responsible for the alleged custodial death.
Gabol said that three policemen including ASI Shabbir Larik are the accused in the FIR. He said that protests would end after registration of the FIR. The Super Highway however remains blocked.