Islamabad police SHO accused of inflicting custodial torture suspended, inquiry initiated

Published October 8, 2022
A photo of station house officer  Irshad who is accused of committing custodial torture. — Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir Twitter
A photo of station house officer Irshad who is accused of committing custodial torture. — Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir Twitter

The Islamabad police on Saturday suspended Station House Officer Irshad and initiated an inquiry after lawyer Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir accused him of inflicting custodial torture on an unidentified man at Karachi Company police station in the G-9 area of the capital.

The police said that the decision to suspend the SHO was taken on Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah's directives to conduct a fair inquiry.

"Strict action will be taken if found guilty; law enforcers found to be involved in any illegal activity will not be tolerated," the police said.

Earlier, the police said that Islamabad Inspector General of Police (IGP) Islamabad Dr Akbar Nasir Khan took notice of the incident and ordered the Saddar superintendent of police to conduct a transparent inquiry and submit a report under the supervision of the senior superintendent of police (operations).

"There is no room for violence in police custody," the IGP said.

The allegation against the now suspended SHO Irshad was brought to light by Mazari-Hazir, who said she was at the G9 police station for a separate matter when she "heard screams coming from a smaller room in main SHO's room."

"I walked in and saw this SHO Irshad beating the life out of someone in custody. The man was lying on the floor and SHO Irshad was stepping on his face," she alleged.

Mazari also shared a video of her confrontation with the SHO in which she can be seen asking for the police officer's badge number while he refuses to oblige.

Upon being questioned by the SHO about how the matter was relevant to her, Mazari said she was a lawyer.

"Thank God there were multiple witnesses other than me who heard the screams. This SHO Irshad has no business being on the police force," she tweeted and called on the Islamabad police to take action.

She later posted that she had filed a complaint for the registration of a case against the SHO and would be pursuing the matter with her lawyer.

According to the complaint she posted online, the alleged incident occurred at 11pm on Friday. The complaint also alleged that the SHO had taken a bribe from a "person in civilian clothes" who had come out from the room in which the purported custodial torture took place.

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