‘CTD man talked on phone before my family’s murder’

Updated February 10, 2019

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Eight-year-old boy submits written statement to JIT in Sahiwal shooting case; rejects police version about encounter.— File
Eight-year-old boy submits written statement to JIT in Sahiwal shooting case; rejects police version about encounter.— File

LAHORE: An eight-year-old boy who witnessed the killing of his parents and an elder sister besides his neighbour near Sahiwal by personnel of the counterterrorism department has disclosed that his family was gunned down after one of the CTD personnel talked to someone over the phone.

In a written statement submitted to the Joint Investigation Team, Umair Khalil said the armed personnel first shot at and killed Zeeshan and then talked to someone over the phone before opening fire on his father, mother and sister.

Take a look: Punjab govt terms family's killing in Sahiwal encounter 'collateral damage'

The witness categorically rejected police’s version that someone from inside the unfortunate car or from a motorcycle fired at the CTD personnel first. “It is also a lie that police found any substance of terrorism from the car,” he insisted.

The boy said he along with his mother Nabila, father Khalil Ahmad, elder sister Ariba and younger sisters Muniba and Hadia along with neighbour Zeeshan left Lahore on Jan 19. “Our neighbour Zeeshan was driving the car and when we reached near Qadirabad area of Sahiwal, suddenly the armed men from behind opened fire on our car,” he said.

Eight-year-old boy submits written statement to JIT in Sahiwal shooting case; rejects police version about encounter

As result of massive fire, he said, the car hit the footpath, some police personnel with their covered faces reached there on two vans. The police personnel shot at uncle Zeeshan and killed him on the spot, he said. “Then a cop called someone on phone and my father offered them money and pleaded them not to kill,” he said.

“Please take money and don’t kill us,” Umair said while quoting his father’s last plea to the shooting squad. However, he added, ignoring the request of his father, the cop after ending his phone conversation gave a signal to his colleagues who unleashed massive fire on the car.

“As a result of fire, my father, mother and elder sister died instantly while I received a bullet in my leg and my younger sister in her arm,” Umair stated.

Also read: Sahiwal shootings: The rot goes as deep as the roots

The witness disclosed that he and his young “sisters survived because before death my mother had protected me and my youngest sister Hadia pushing us under the seats and my father concealed Muniba to protect her from bullets”.

After stopping fire, he said, the CTD personnel shifted him and his two sisters to their vehicle and again fired at the car. They later drove them to a distance and abandoned them at a deserted place, he said, adding that he and his sister were left in immense pain due to gunshot wounds.

A few minutes later, he said, a passerby saw them weeping and crying. He dropped them to a petrol pump, the boy claimed, adding that the CTD personnel who had opened fire on their car arrived at the petrol pump after some time and shifted them to a local hospital.

Published in Dawn, February 10th, 2019