Pak: Extra-judicial killings condemned

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - 21:56

Lahore: A Pakistani court on Tuesday hauled up
the law enforcement agencies for extra-judicial killings in
the country which has caused a "great sense of insecurity
among the people of Pakistan".

Lahore High Court Chief Justice Ijaz Chaudhry said
extra-judicial killings in Quetta, Karachi and Lahore have
caused a "great sense of insecurity among the people of
Pakistan" and such actions by law enforcement agencies cannot
be allowed to continue.

Chaudhry made the observation while hearing a suo moto
case on the murder of Shahbaz Butt, 23, by police in a "fake
encounter" or staged gun battle in Lahore`s Nishtar Colony on
Friday night.

Incidents like the gunning down of five foreigners in
Quetta and the shooting of a teenage youth in a park in
Karachi "will not be allowed in Punjab", he remarked.

Police and paramilitary forces had last month shot
dead five foreigners, including Tajiks and Russians, at
Kharotabad in Quetta after claiming they were "terrorists".

The paramilitary Pakistan Rangers killed Sarfraz Shah
in cold blood in a park in Karachi last week. The shooting was
filmed by a TV cameraman and shown on news channels

The Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and police chief
of Punjab province appeared in the Chief Justice`s court for
today`s hearing.
During the proceedings, the Chief Justice said police
cannot be allowed to carry out extra-judicial killings. The
law enforcement agencies had no right to "do justice" on their
own, he said.
The Chief Justice said aggressive statements by Lahore
Police chief Ahmad Raza Tahir too had caused serious anxiety
among citizens.

"I do want the government to remove Mr Raza but it
should not overlook past record before appointing an officer.

If police do not stop fake encounters, then nobody will
believe even in real encounters," he said.

Butt`s killing had strengthened the public`s
apprehensions against the Lahore Police chief, the Chief
Justice said.

Punjab Police chief Javed Iqbal informed the court
that four police officials, including a DSP, had been arrested
following the registration of an FIR on the complaint of
Butt`s father.

Chief Secretary Nasir Khosa suggested that the court
could constitute a judicial commission to probe the matter.

However, the Chief Justice observed there was no need
to form a commission as the accused had already been arrested
and an investigation was underway.

He directed the police chief to conclude the
investigation within 15 days and submit the chargesheet
against the accused in the trial court. He also directed the
trial court to conclude the trial within a month.

The Chief Justice directed the police chief to file a
report on "police encounters" from 2010 and constitute a
committee to verify these incidents. He then adjourned the
hearing of the suo motu case till June 30.


First Published: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - 21:56
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