ISLAMABAD: The brutal killing of four citizens in Sahiwal has once again proven the culture of police encounter continues under the new Punjab administration despite claims of reforms in police.
According to Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) data, as many as 3,345 people have been killed in police encounters from January 2014 to May 2018. The data further shows that 23 women and 12 minors have also been killed in these police encounters whereas 55 police officials have also been killed in these encounters.
Earlier, the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) in its press statement declared that they have killed four people who were member of terrorist organisation Daesh. However, several witnesses emerged later who belied police claims terming it a fake encounter.
After Naqeebullah Mehsud’s fake police encounter by SSP Malir Rao Anwar Ahmed on January 13, 2018, Khalil and his family’s encounter in Sahiwal has emerged as another high profile case of such nature.
The HRCP data reveals that total 2,117 police encounters have been reported in the Pakistan media from January 01, 2014 to May 11, 2018. As per the data, 6,610 male and 23 female and 12 minor victims were encountered by the police during this period out of which 3,345 people were killed. During these encounters, 173 accused were injured, 516 arrested and 2,602 accused escaped. Similarly, 10 passersby were killed and 53 were injured in these encounters.
The data further shows that 1,914 people of the total encounter victims had criminal record, including 818 were involved in dacoity, 66 in kidnapping, 233 in murder, 258 in robbery, 13 in smuggling and 32 in rape cases. Similarly, 206 people were facing the charges of militancy, and 27 were facing the charges of extortion.
Interestingly, Sindh is on top of the list in killing maximum people in police encounter from January 2014 to May 2018. During this period, the Sindh Police has killed 1,592 people in police encounter whereas 18 police officials have also died in these encounters. A total of 2,543 male and 11 females were encountered by the Sindh police in 944 different cases. The data further shows that 837 victims of police encounter had a criminal record out of which 122 were alleged militants, whereas 201 were facing the charges of dacoity, 36 kidnapping, 108 murder, and 16 were facing the charges of extortion. During these police encounters, 18 police officials also lost their lives and 14 injured.
Though Punjab’s number of police encounters were higher than Sindh, but the number of people killed in these encounters were less in Punjab province. As many as 1,556 victims were killed in 1,036 police encounters in the biggest province of the country. The Punjab police encountered 3,688 male and six females in 1,036 different cases. During these encounters 25 police officials were also killed and 14 injured. As per the HRCP data, 960 victims of these police encounters had a criminal record out of which 605 were facing the charges of dacoity, 25 kidnapping, 110 murder and 26 were facing the charges of rape. Similarly, 46 alleged militants were also killed in these encounters.
The number of police encounters in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan were very low as compared to Sindh and Punjab. The data reveals, 71 victims were killed in 54 different cases of police encounters from January 2014 to May 2018. During these encounters four police officials lost their lives and 14 were injured. The maximum number of people who were encountered by KP police were facing terrorism charges as 26 out of 50 who had criminal record were allegedly militants. The KP police encountered two females and 141 male in 54 different cases.
The HRCP data further shows that 57 victims were killed in 34 different police encounters whereas three police officials were also killed in these encounters. As per the data, 27 people had criminal record out of which 11 were militants. According to this data, 94 male, two females and one minor was encountered by police in 34 different cases whereas one passerby was also killed in these police encounters.
It is pertinent to mention here that these statistics are based on monitoring of newspapers and news reports from across the country. The actual incidents and figures of police encounters might be higher than these reported cases.