Police for judicial probe into death of rape suspect in custody in Lahore

Updated July 12, 2019

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The police high-ups have recommended to the authorities for judicial inquiry into the death of a rape suspect in the lockup of the Akbari Gate police station in the wee hours of Thursday. — AFP/File
The police high-ups have recommended to the authorities for judicial inquiry into the death of a rape suspect in the lockup of the Akbari Gate police station in the wee hours of Thursday. — AFP/File

LAHORE: The police high-ups have recommended to the authorities for judicial inquiry into the death of a rape suspect in the lockup of the Akbari Gate police station in the wee hours of Thursday.

The police department requested officially for the judicial inquiry after the rape suspect, Zeeshan (30), was found hanged in the police lockup. His parents alleged he was killed by the police during interrogation.

During initial inquiries, the senior police officers had claimed that Zeeshan committed suicide in the lockup, where four other suspects were also detained.

They claimed Zeeshan went to the washroom of the lockup and took the extreme step in the wee hours when the suspects were asleep.

Zeeshan’s parents, relatives and other residents of the locality took to the street later, when they came to know about his death in custody.

They had surrounded the police station, blocked the roads and lodged strong protest, throwing traffic out of gear for a couple of hours.

They said that a team from the Akbari Gate police had arrested Zeeshan after a local resident Qazafi alleged that he raped his minor son.

During interrogation, they alleged, the police tortured him to death and then declared it suicide to save their skin.

However, the Lahore SSP (operations) rejected the allegation, saying the CCTV camera installed at the police station and the four suspects detained in other cases were “witness to the incident”.

He said the suspect was a habitual criminal as had also sexually assaulted many other children in the area.

Even then, he said, the police had written a letter to the authorities concerned for a judicial inquiry into the incident to find out the cause of Zeeshan’s death.

To a question, the SSP said that Zeeshan was arrested following an FIR was lodged against him for alleged rape of a minor boy, on the complaint of the victim’s father.

Published in Dawn, July 12th, 2019