LAHORE: Police have yet to register a case over the death of PTI worker Ali Bilal, even after his postmortem examination report showed excessive injuries that resulted in his death.

However, police sources told Dawn on Friday that they had the two men — who brought badly Bilal’s badly-injured body to hospital — in custody, adding that they claimed he was injured in a road accident.

Senior lawyer Azhar Siddique, who represents the PTI in several cases, said the death was a “clear case of custodial torture” and denying the legal right to register the FIR has revealed “ill-intentions of the police”.

The lawyer said that there were reports that the family was moving to the court to seek an order for the registration of a murder case against the police.

Talking to Dawn, Mr Siddique said the medico-legal examination and fresh video clips of the same day (March 8), showing the victim inside a police van, has shed light on the police’s atrocity and brutality. Police have claimed that the videos are old.

“Ali was tortured while in police custody and the family reserved the right to lodge a case against those nominated in the complaint filed by his father”, Mr Siddique claimed.

On Thursday, Mr Bilal’s father, Liaqat Ali, filed an application with Race Course police to lodge a murder case. He nominated the interior minister, Punjab caretaker CM, Punjab police chief, Lahore CCPO, two inspectors and 40 police personnel.

Men in custody

A police source claimed that the police managed to trace and arrested the two suspects who brought Ali Bilal to the Services Hospital Lahore, left him at emergency and fled the scene. He said they were

Police said on Friday to have arrested two suspects, identified as Umar and Jehanzeb, who claimed that Bilal sustained multiple injuries after he was involved in an accident with their car. Sources said the two claimed the accident occurred in Fortress Stadium, where Bilal was present along with five other friends, probably PTI workers.

Police sources said the two were traced through footage obtained from Safe City cameras.

Brutal torture

The claims of torture have been corroborated by Mr Bilal’s postmortem report, issued by the Mayo Hospital. It said the victim was subjected to “massive blunt trauma”, while a fracture to his skull and subsequent bleeding has been cited as the cause of death. The report also noted damage to his liver, spleen and testes, which led to profuse bleeding.

The report also contradicted earlier police claims that Bilal either died in a fatal roadside accident or during a scuffle near Zaman Park.

A medico-legal examiner told Dawn that in fatal roadside accidents, normally patients normally receive damages to one or two organs, and a major head fracture or a few injuries are seen on some parts of the body. “In the case of Mr Bilal, the postmortem examination has reported over 26 injuries,” he said, adding this was apparently a “typical case of brutal torture”.

Published in Dawn, March 11th, 2023

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