LAHORE: The Garden Town police on Thursday arrested PML-N MPAs Khwaja Salman Rafique and Hafiz Nauman a day after their guards tortured an army officer.
The MPAs were arrested when they appeared in the Garden Town police station to join the investigation of the case lodged against four suspected attackers.
Acting CCPO Shahzada Sultan confirmed to Dawn the arrest of the MPAs. He said they visited the police station and offered arrest in the case.
Another police officer said both the MPAs had claimed that they were directed by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to join the police investigation.
There were also reports that the police had mentioned names of the PML-N leaders in the supplementary statement of the complainant of the FIR. The FIR was lodged by retired Maj Mohammad Rashid, the father of Maj Haris who, he alleged, was attacked by the unidentified persons on Ferozepur Road following a minor dispute when the vehicles of both sides collided. He said the suspects tortured his son with iron rods, injured him and fled the scene.
Video clips went viral on social media showing the men hitting the army officer with an iron rod. The clips showed the officer lying unconscious on the road and the suspects abusing him and hurling life threats.
Earlier, the CCPO claimed the attackers were arrested. Mr Sultan told media persons that those arrested were guards of Salman Rafiq who was not present on the occasion.
He said senior police officers had been assigned the task to oversee the investigation. While dispelling impression of any favour to the suspects, he said instructions had been issued to have them punished through court.
Mr Sultan said the clash between the two sides occurred when their vehicles collided. He said the suspects used iron rods and injured the officer. As people gathered there, he said, the attackers fled and police acted swiftly and arrested them.
Salman Rafique told the media that he had condemned the attack and handed over his employees to police shortly after the incident. He said he would visit the house of the injured officer to inquire after him.
In a late night media talk, injured army officer’s lawyer Barrister Mian Ali Ashfaq said the complainant had submitted a supplementary statement to police and demanded an impartial inquiry into the case while determining the role of Khwaja Salman Rafique and Hafiz Nauman.
He said the family had no personal grudge against both MPAs and just wanted to investigate their role in the incident of inhuman torture on the army officer. He said it was the responsibility of the police to get the CCTV footage and have the forensic analysis of the mobile phones of the suspects.
“We have submitted a piece of evidence to police and hope they will investigate the matter on merit,” he said.
Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2022