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Complainant forced to surrender to accused party

Lahore

May 15, 2020

LAHORE:The following story can be cited the best to enlighten the key role being played by the Punjab police in compelling a victim to surrender to the accused.

One Awais stopped his bike in front of a house owned by one Rehmat Ali of Sootar Mill Stop at Manawan and started honking bike horn besides playing songs on his cell phone loudly on April 19, 2020. The house residents forbade him from doing so, upon which, he started abusing them and rode away from the scene. Later, he appeared with two accomplices, Javed and Khalil, armed with sticks and iron rods and Javed allegedly broke the nose of Rehmat’s son Muhammad Zafar with an iron rod.

The family carrying Zafar with nasal fracture visited all government hospitals but none of them accommodated him. They were told that operations were not being conducted due to coronavirus. The family took the victim to a private hospital on Main Chowk Nakhuda at Misri Shah for treatment. The family had to pay huge treatment charges due to suspension of operations in government hospitals.

According to Dr Shahid Malik, facial nerves and muscles responsible for sensations, expressions and eye movements are positioned near the facial bones. He said that face is close to the brain and central nervous system (CNS). Fractures may result in damage to cranial nerves, depending on the particular type and location of the fracture. Fractures to the orbit (eye socket) may result in problems with vision. Fractures of nose may make it difficult for the injured person to breathe or smell. Also, fractures of the jawbones may cause breathing problems or make it difficult to chew, speak, or swallow.

The injured Zafar is still in pain and not able to chew, speak and swallow properly despite the lapse of 24 days. Meanwhile, Manawan police registered a case (FIR No 543/20) against Awais, Javed and Khalil on April 27, 2020, following the recommendation of medical report under sections 337A (III) and 337A (I) PPC.

The investigating officer, ASI Khurram, heard both parties, examined the condition of the injured victim lying on the bed with nasal fracture and swelling face, and recorded the statement of the neighbours. On the other hand, the accused got interim bails from the court.

The accused party is making all efforts for reconciliation with the complainant, otherwise, the court would cancel their interim bails. Their all efforts for reconciliation have resulted in failure. But Punjab police know as to how such a person who is committed to seek justice can be trapped, so that he could withdraw his complaint or FIR.

On May 12, the complainant, Rehmat, received a phone call that he would appear before DSP Manawan Zakria Yousaf. Rehmat complied with the order and reached the DSP’s office in the afternoon on May 13. IO ASI Khurram again recorded the statement of the complainant and the accused persons and presented them before the DSP who heard both parties and directed the ASI to arrest the complainant and the accused persons under Section 107/ 151.

Punjab police love to apply Section 107/ 151 especially when the desire of the officer is to make the victim kneel down before the accused. This section is applied when the complainant turns down the requests of people approaching for reconciliation with the accused party.

The DSP’s direction to the IO scared the complainant. He along with a relative reached Manawan police station after Iftar on May 13, and waited for ASI Khurram outside his room for at least 30 minutes. Later, ASI Khurram told them that they should be thankful to him as he had yet not registered a cross version against them. When the complainant asked as to why DSP directed you to arrest both parties under Section 107/151, ASI Khurram replied that the accused party had filed a complaint against them four days back. However, he did not provide or show the copy of the complaint lodged by the accused party against the victim. “You should be further thankful to me as I did not arrest you, though the DSP had directed me for your detention,” he added.

When an officer observes that the complainant is not willing to withdraw the FIR or complaint, he raises the slogan of cross version to bring the complainant under threat. But the question is on which grounds as the complainant Rehmat has already challenged the medical reports of the accused party as well. And all living in the locality know that the accused persons subjected Zafar to severe torture.

If an honest officer looked into the cases registered by Punjab Police under Section 107/ 151, he would be surprised that in most of the cases were registered on the request of the accused party. In other words, the victim who calls police, tells the details of the incident, provides evidences and eyewitnesses have to spend a night in lock-up with the accused. It happens in Punjab police where money works and police command intentionally stays aloof.

This scribe sent a message to a senior police officer, Inam Ghani, that “DSP Manawan Zakria Yousaf is trying to add another feather in the cap of Punjab police by using unfair means and abusing power to force the complainant to surrender before the accused. Does the said matter fall in your domain? If not, plz inform the IG as a colleague or law-abiding citizen to ask the SP Cantt to wake up.” But he did not reply. The same message was also sent to the number 0333-4267832, but nobody responded.

The said message was also forwarded to CCPO Lahore Zulfiqar Hameed, but he also did not reply. Fortunately, DIG Operations Punjab coincidently read the message and forwarded it to senior police officer Inam Ghani; in response to which, he asked this scribe to tell the complainant to visit the SP Cantt’s office and see him on his behalf. Considering the aforementioned situation, he added that it is the topmost priority of IG Punjab Shoaib Dastagir to kick out the black sheep and ensure quick dispensation of justice. Be it for the sake of humanity or dignity of work, Sohail Sukhera took consideration of this miserable incident at a time when no other senior police officer was willing to come forward and look into this matter dutifully.