GUJRAT: Police in two neighboring districts Gujrat and Jhelum has been in a fix on how to deal with the pressure being exerted by the legal fraternity to get their colleague exonerated of the charges of murdering a constable and injuring another of Gujrat police during a raid in Jhelum’s professors’ colony early Wednesday morning. The Jhelum District Bar Association on Thursday announced a strike for three more days over the arrest of the lawyer on charge of killing a constable and banned the entry of police to the Judicial Complex.

Jhelum police had arrested Sheikh Abdul Haseeb advocate and his brother Abdul Saboor as they accompanied the Kharian police in raid on house to arrest an alleged drug dealer woman, Naseem alias Kubbi Pathani. However, the lawyer and his brother allegedly opened fire at police, resulting in death of Constable Muhammad Ali and injury to Head Constable Abdul Rasheed.

The Jhelum DBA observed complete strike on Wednesday and Thursday against the incident and extended the strike until Sept 27, demanding the suspension of district police officers (DPOs) of Gujrat and Jhelum, a judicial inquiry into the incident and release of their colleague and his brother, terming the case fabricated.

Jhelum bar extends strike

In a statement issued by Jhelum DBA secretary Raja Muhammad Narullah on Thursday, a meeting of bar was held with president Raja Touqeer Khan in the chair. It was alleged that Kharian police in civvies had forced their entry into the house of the lawyer where they manhandled the women of the family and opened fire, resulting in the death of a constable. The statement alleged that the case against the lawyer was fabricated.

A spokesman for Gujrat police said the martyred constable and other cops were in uniform and they were accompanied by the Jhelum Civil Lines police. He said that the deceased constable, father of five children, was hit by four bullets fired by the suspects.

Another senior police official said that police raiding team had shown restraint despite of the firing by the nominated suspects and did not return the fire. He deplored the response of legal fraternity towards the killing of a constable inline of his national duty and now registration of case against the police was being demanded.

Sources in Jhelum and Gujrat police said that the DPOs of both these districts had been under immense pressure from their own subordinate staff as well as from the legal fraternity which might put political pressure as well.

Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2021

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