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ISLAMABAD: Senior police officials are divided over the registration of a criminal case against members of a police team involved in an ‘encounter’ on Wednesday.

A criminal case was registered against the patrolling team on Thursday, based on a complaint lodged by the son of a man killed in the encounter, police officials told Dawn.

Syed Inayat Hussein Shah was killed and Syed Ejaz Hussein Shah was injured when a police patrolling team opened fire on their vehicle near Rawal Town on Wednesday. The policemen claimed the two men had shot at them first.

A team of four senior police officers interrogated members of the patrolling team, examined the crime scene and recorded the injured man’s statement.

Footage from two CCTV cameras of the Safe City Project, installed at Rawal Dam Chowk, were also examined.

The visuals suggested that the two victims were meeting some other men on the side of the road, before they tried to make a run for it.

The patrolling team, meanwhile, was on a tea break and heard the commotion raised by the other party, who asked them to chase the two men.

The footage shows police giving chase to the victims, but there were no CCTV cameras at the spot where the gunfight took place.

According to the statement of Syed Ejaz Hussein Shah, police intercepted him and his companion at a U-turn, exited their vehicle and opened fire.

Senior police officers also interrogated the men who met the victims and had asked police officials to chase them down.

According to police, the two men had paid the victims Rs200,000 to arrange a Canadian visa.

However, Inayat and Ejaz could not get them the visa, after which the other party asked for their money back. They claimed the victims had been ignoring their calls for some time and had finally agreed to meet on Wednesday. When asked to return the money, the two men made a break for it, according to the statement recorded by the other party.

Another police official told Dawn that a 30-bore pistol was recovered from the crime scene, which was sent for forensic examination to determine if the weapon was fired or not.

Further inquiries have revealed that cases of fraud were registered against one of the victims at the Shahzad Town and Karachi Company police stations.

Sources said the interrogation of the police party took hours, and senior officers could not agree on whether to take action against them or not.

“The team examined all the available facts and had different opinions over the course of action to be taken,” he said, adding that it is yet to be established the circumstances under which the police officials opened fire on the victims.

Two of the members of the team carrying out the investigation wanted to register a case against the patrolling team and start proceedings according to the law. They said that if the officials are proven innocent, the FIR can be quashed.

Two others, however, thought the registration of a case and the arrest of any officials may demoralise patrolling staff and those deployed at check posts.

When contacted, Walid Ahmed Shah, son of Syed Inayat Hussein Shah, said his father had gone to meet Ejaz and that he did not know anything about his father taking money to help someone get a visa.

He said he had heard about the registration of some cases against Ejaz, but did not know what they were about.

Published in Dawn, September 1st, 2017