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September 15, 2010

NA body wants penalty for cops in Sialkot lynching case


September 15, 2010

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Human Rights on Tuesday strongly advocated an exemplary punishment for the group of policemen who did not prevent lynching of two brothers in Sialkot by overpowering seven or eight perpetrators.

The Chairman of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Human Rights, Riaz Hussain Fatyana, led a team of parliamentarians to the city on Tuesday and interacted with the families of the two brothers and Bilal, who was also targeted earlier in the morning.

The team, consisting of Muhammad Safdar of the the PML-N, Raheela Baloch of the the PPP and Shafique Chaudhry, the adviser to the Human Rights Ministry, spent the whole day, having meetings with the district administration’s top officials as well. The committee consists of as many as 17 MNAs, but only three of them could make their way to the district to find out the facts.

When The News contacted the Chairman of the NA’s Standing Committee on Human Rights, who was on his way back after the visit to Sialkot, he said: “It is not our concern whether the lynched brothers were criminals or not or why and who killed Bilal. Our issue is why the police acted as a silent spectator”.

To substantiate his contention, Riaz Hussain Fatyana said the maintaining sanctity of the uniform and their profession, the SHO, the sub-inspector and other cops present on the occasion, must have moved in to prevent the violence that was unprecedented in Pakistan’s history.

The police, he alleged, demonstrated utter insensitivity and indifference to the gory action, which involved seven to eight people. But the police, who were almost double in strength, failed to stop the perpetrators from killing the brothers mercilessly.

“Everyone who matters must focus on the shameful role of the police, which earned a bad name for the department not only in Pakistan but also in the comity of nations for its failure to ensure the rule of

law,” Fatyana contended.

About the meeting with former District Police Officer Waqar Chohan, Fatyana said: “He pleaded innocence, saying he was informed about the tragedy after the two boys were killed and hung on the roadside.”

The former DPO tried to prove his innocence by narrating that on reaching the spot, he cooled down the tempers to an extent and managed to bring down the bodies of the boys from poles.In reply to a question, he said they patiently heard the two parties.

“Parents of the two brothers and of Bilal tried to prove their respective stances before the committee members,” he said.The committee, Riaz Fatyana said would have a two-day meeting next month to discuss the incident in the light of their interaction with the concerned parties prior to submitting a report in this connection to the National Assembly.

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