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KARACHI: The death of a middle-aged man during a police raid in Ibrahim Hyderi under controversial circumstances and a protest by his friends and family on Wednesday prompted the home minister and inspector general of police to order two separate inquiries to ascertain whether he died from police torture.

The man, 55-year-old Farid Alam, died when he was allegedly beaten up by a team of the Awami Colony police station, which raided his house in Ali Akbar Shah Goth to arrest his son Akram and his brother-in-law Munir for their alleged involvement in criminal activities, according to his family.

Abdul Majeed Tahir, a nephew of the deceased, told Dawn that the raid was conducted at around 3am and the Awami Colony police arrested Akram and Munir.

He said Mr Alam put up resistance and the policemen allegedly punched and kicked him and also beat him with gunstock causing his death.

However, Korangi SSP Noman Siddiqui denied all allegations.

He told Dawn that the Awami Colony police detained the two suspects for their alleged involvement in incidents of motorbike snatching.

The SSP said that the police released the held persons on personal surety so that they could attend the funeral of Mr Alam.

He said that the body had been sent to a hospital for a post-mortem examination to ascertain the exact cause of death.

He said a case would be registered against the policemen concerned if any torture marks were found in the autopsy report.

However, Police Surgeon Aijaz Khokhar said that the post-mortem examination, which was conducted at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, showed no marks of torture on the body.

He added that doctors reserved the cause of death as they sent samples for histopathological and chemical analysis.

Meanwhile, IGP A.D. Khowaja took notice of the death of the man and ordered the Korangi SSP to submit a detailed report containing departmental and legal action taken against the policemen, a police spokesperson said.

“Misuse of power would not be tolerated at any cost,” the IGP said, adding that there was no space in the police department for such officers.

Separately, Sindh Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal also took notice of the incident and directed the DIG East to conduct a comprehensive inquiry into it, said his spokesperson.

The minister said that the inquiry would not only identify the policemen involved in it but departmental and legal action should also be taken against them.

Published in Dawn, December 14th, 2017