MULTAN: A first information report (FIR) was lodged against four officials of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for allegedly torturing a man in custody over five months ago, as a result of which two of his ribs were broken.

The FIR was lodged months after the torture victim moved various judicial and administrative forums, including the Lahore High Court Multan bench.

The Mumtazabad police lodged the FIR under section 337F(v)/34 of the PPC on April 23 after Justice Sardar Muhammad Sarfraz Dogar of the LHC summoned City Police Officer (CPO) Munir Masood Marth in person who submitted a copy of the FIR in court.

“Although police have lodged the FIR, they are reluctant to arrest the accused persons,” the victim, Sajjad Ahmad, told this correspondent. Narrating his months-long ordeal, Ahmad said he was running a car showroom business with Rana Imran, a nephew of one of the booked suspects, FIA Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Rao Tanveer. However, owing to some differences, he ended his partnership with Imran.

“I was satisfied that the entire process was completed amicably. However, two weeks later on Oct 5, ASI Tanveer, Cyber Crime Cell Assistant Director Zeeshan Habib along with two unidentified FIA officials entered my house, took away valuables and cash and arrested me without any warrant. They kept me in illegal detention for three days and tortured me severely, which led to the fracture of two of my ribs,” he claimed.

He said a fake FIR on the complaint of ASI Tanveer was also lodged against him and some of the money taken from his house was shown as recovered loot, while he was produced before the special magistrate for physical remand on Oct 8.

He informed the magistrate about the entire incident who granted his four-day physical remand and directed the FIA to get him medically examined. But no such thing happened, and on Oct 12 he was again produced before the magistrate who again directed for his medical exam, but he was sent to jail without it.

Ahmad said FIA officials submitted an application to the district and sessions court regarding completion of the remand and when he was produced before the magistrate on Oct 21, the jail officials also confirmed that his ribs were broken and a medical examination was required.

“While granting physical remand of three more days, the magistrate again directed for the medical examination and I was presented before a medical board, which not only confirmed the broken ribs, but also stated that blunt trauma was used and the injuries were within three weeks old,” he stated.

On Oct 29, he was released on bail and filed applications to different administrative and judicial forums for lodging of an FIR, but despite having a medical report, police did not budge.

“Finally, a petition was filed with the LHC and the court summoned the CPO over which the FIR was lodged. But now police were reluctant to arrest the suspects. It has also come to my knowledge that police have declared Zeeshan Habib innocent in their investigation despite neither of the two nominated suspects having been arrested or securing a bail from any court,” he stressed.

Mumtazabad Station House Officer Kaleem Shabir claimed that raids were being conducted and soon the suspects will be arrested.

Published in Dawn, April 25th, 2021

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