NAROWAL: A speeding vehicle of Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz’s motorcade allegedly killed a motorcyclist at the Chandowal Stop on the Shakargarh Road on Thursday.

The CM was going to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur to participate in the three-day celebrations of the Baisakhi festival. Her motorcade was going from Narowal to Kartarpur when the Elite Force vehicle hit the motorcyclist coming from the opposite direction. The motorcyclist, identified as 23-year-old Abubakar, a resident of Jassar town, died on the spot.

Despite the accident, the CM’s motorcade did not stop to take the injured to the hospital.

Ali Rizwan, a cousin of the deceased, told Dawn that Abubakar was going from home to a filling station where he was employed. He lamented that no official stopped their car to help the injured Abubakar and neither of them picked him or even called Rescue 1122. Instead, he lamented, the police officers came to the spot after the incident and washed the blood from the road with water to remove the evidence.

Abubakar’s mother Arifa Bibi said the police car had killed her son who was supporting the family during the hard times of inflation. She said her husband, Fakhar Ayaz, was a labourer.

Maryam was going to Kartarpur for Baisakhi festival when Elite Force vehicle hit the youth

She sought justice from CM Maryam Nawaz, saying that an FIR should be registered against the person responsible for the accident and he should be arrested.

Abubakar’s father Fakhar Ayaz fainted on the shock of the sudden death of his son. He was shifted to the District Headquarters Hospital, Narowal, where he remained under treatment for a couple of hours.

District Emergency Officer Muhammad Naeem Akhtar claimed that Rescue 1122 motorcycles and ambulances reached the site immediately on receiving information of the accident but the victim had died on the spot.

He said Rescue 1122 had shifted the body to the District Headquarters Hospital, Narowal.

District Police Officer Muhammad Naveed Malik told Dawn that two persons, Abubakar and Hamza, were riding the motorcycle and that they were coming from Jassar Town to Narowal when a high-speed motorcycle coming from behind hit them. Abubakar fell on the right side while Hamza on the left side due to the collision of the motorcycles.

The DPO said Abu Bakar, who had fallen on the right side of the road, was hit by the vehicle and died in the accident.

To a question, the DPO could not identify the third motorcyclist who had hit Abubakar and Hamza’s bike, saying the police were trying to identify him. About Hamza, the DPO claimed that he had received minor scratches on the face.

The eyewitnesses, Muhammad Aslam and Attaullah, rejected the police version, saying that there was only one person (Abubakar), riding the bike while the police vehicle was overtaking him.

Abubakar’s cousin Rizwan also denied the statement of the police officers, saying that only Abubakar was riding the motorcycle. He alleged that the police were lying to protect the police driver responsible for the accident.

Rana Lal Badshah, former president of the District Bar Association, Narowal, and a leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), said a judicial inquiry should be conducted into the incident.

The Saddar Police Station registered an FIR against the unidentified driver of the police vehicle on the complaint of Ali Rizwan. The police took the body into custody and completed the post-mortem and necessary legal proceedings at the District Headquarters Hospital, Narowal, before handing it over to the family.

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2024

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