IGP orders probe into man’s death ‘in police custody’ in Karachi

Updated 03 Jan 2019

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IGP Dr Syed Kaleem Imam took notice of media reports about the incident and directed the DIG-South Sharjeel Kharal to conduct an impartial probe and submit a report. — File photo
IGP Dr Syed Kaleem Imam took notice of media reports about the incident and directed the DIG-South Sharjeel Kharal to conduct an impartial probe and submit a report. — File photo

KARACHI: A man died under controversial circumstance in the Defence area on Wednesday.

His relatives, however, alleged that police had detained Qaim Ali and he died in their custody because of torture. But the police denied his arrest and claimed he died of a heart attack outside the house where he worked as a driver.

As the media highlighted the incident, the inspector general of police and the provincial government took notice of it and ordered an impartial probe to ascertain the veracity of the claims.

The Defence police said a man, identified as Tariq Mustafa, informed them about his driver, Qaim Ali, who he said had suffered a heart attack while sitting in his car outside his home. He sought police’s help for shifting him to a hospital, said a police spokesperson in a statement.

After receiving the information, the police shifted him to the National Institute of Cardiovascular Disease (NICVD) in a mobile van, where doctors pronounced him dead.

“The deceased was neither arrested by the police nor died in their custody,” said the spokesperson.

However, the driver’s relatives, who arrived at the NICVD and then shifted the body to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for a post-mortem examination, claimed that he was arrested by the police and died in their custody.

A relative present at the JPMC told Dawn that a police party raided a house in Defence area late on Tuesday night and detained Qaim Ali and other persons from a party.

The relative said that the police brought Qaim at the NICVD at around 4:15am on Wednesday, dropped him outside the hospital and disappeared.

Referring to the CCTV footage at the hospital, the relative said that the hospital staff brought him inside where he was pronounced dead.

Later, Special Assistant to Chief Minister on Human Rights Dr Khatumal reached the hospital with his relatives and other residents of Thar and shifted the body to the JPMC.

Additional police surgeon Dr Sheeraz Ali Khowaja told Dawn that Dr Raja Memon conducted the autopsy and reserved the cause of death for the report of a histopathological and chemical examination.

He added that there were no apparent marks of torture.

Meanwhile, IGP Dr Syed Kaleem Imam took notice of media reports about the incident and directed the DIG-South Sharjeel Kharal to conduct an impartial probe and submit a report.

The DIG told Dawn that there was no ‘foul play’ and the Defence police only shifted the man to the hospital.

Published in Dawn, January 3rd, 2019