LAHORE: The Nishtar Colony police have arrested four personnel of the Dolphin Squad involved in the killing of a Christian woman who was riding a motorcycle with her minor daughter driven by her husband.
Victim’s husband Waris Masih said he and his five other family members riding two motorcycles were returning to their home in Youhannabad from the Punjab Institute of Cardiology when Dolphin Squad team No 192 opened indiscriminate fire on them near Bank Stop, Ashiana Road.
He said his wife, Nasreen, suffered a bullet injury in the head and she was taken to a nearby hospital where she died.
He alleged the Dolphin Force officials did not help them but started misbehaving with them when they were shifting his injured wife to hospital.
“We asked the squad about opening fire but they could not answer,” he said.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Operations Ashfaq Khan, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Operations Ismail Kharak, Dolphin Squad Superintendent of Police (SP) Bilal Zafar, Model Town SP Imran Ahmad Malik and other officers visited the spot.
Earlier, the Lahore police spokesperson claimed that the force officials were chasing some people in the Kot Lakhpat area and they had signalled them to stop but they did not respond to them. He said the officials tried to intercept the suspects and opened fire at them as a result a stray bullet hit the victim.
Later, an FIR under murder and negligence charges was registered against the force officials and they were also suspended from service and an inquiry was ordered against them.
The PML-N government launched the squad and trained them by Turkish personnel.
In November 2018, the force had shot dead a mentally impaired person in Gulshan-i-Ravi.
In June 2018, another teenage boy was shot dead in an alleged encounter between Dolphin Force and the suspected robbers on Bund Road.
Police had claimed that the force was chasing suspected robbers riding a car who opened fire at them. The Dolphin Force officials retaliated and a passerby (a boy) received bullet injuries and died on the spot.
The suspected robbers were later arrested and the police could not find any weapon from their possession.
In another incident, a minor girl was injured on Multan Road when Dolphin Force officials according to their stance had retaliated suspected robbers.
Dolphin Squad SP Bilal Zafar said the recent incident was a clear violation of police SOPs and the force was not allowed to take any action that endangered the life of a citizen.
He said an FIR was registered against the accused officials and the law would take its course while adding the senior officials were not defending the act of Dolphin Force at all.
Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has taken notice of the killing of a woman due to alleged firing by Dolphin Force officials and sought a report from the IGP retired Capt Arif Nawaz.
He also ordered an investigation into the incident and those involved in firing should be dealt with under the law and justice should be provided to the family of the victim.
Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2019