LAHORE: The third-degree torture of an eight-year-old orphan boy allegedly by officials of the Raiwind police in illegal custody gives lie to the tall claims of the authorities of reforming the police force.
A team of the Raiwind police arrested Ahmed, a resident of Green Town, on Monday evening on suspicion of being a swindler’s accomplice and brutally tortured him in the custody. They let the child go the next day when he was in severe pain and unable to walk and sit.
A mobile phone shopkeeper had handed him over to the Raiwind police after giving him a beating suspecting him to be an accomplice to a swindler.
Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and IGP Amjad Javed Saleemi ordered an inquiry into the incident.
Police normally apply the third-degree methods on hardened criminals in the interrogation rooms of the police stations to extract information or confessions. Monday’s shocking incident brought forth the ugly reality of abuse of power which was established in an initial inquiry conducted by a senior police officer.
The boy also sobbed out his ordeal and shared the horrific details of torture with the media on Tuesday. He said the policemen forced him to sit on a heater and asked him to confess to committing mobile phone theft.
“They later tied my arms with a rope and hanged me upside down, also clubbing me,” he said.
One of the policemen, he said, also tied his legs and hit the soles of his bare feet. Ahmed further said he almost fainted after torture by police during late night hours.
His distressed mother showed journalists burns and torture marks on child’s body especially on his back and sole of the feet. Ahmed could not sleep due to immense pain, she said.
Speaking to Dawn, IGP Amjad Javed Saleemi resolved, “I’ll not spare the cops involved in the inhuman torture of the minor boy. A case will be registered against them besides dismissal from service and exemplary punishment.”
Saddar Division SP Syed Ali said he had conducted an inquiry into the incident and had ASI (trainee) Mohammad Saeed arrested for inhuman treatment with a child. He said a case had been registered against him and the two shopkeepers who had handed over the boy to police.
He said a mobile phone shop owner told police that a man, along with the child, visited his shop and took away two mobile phone sets with a promise that he would revisit his shop with money within half an hour. The SP said the man had assured the shopkeeper that during that time his son (Ahmed) would stay there as a guarantee. The man did not turn up even after many hours and the shop owner handed over the boy to police suspecting him to be the swindler’s accomplice, he said.
The SP said the inquiry had been forwarded to the Lahore capital city police officer for further action.
Published in Dawn, February 20th, 2019