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Sahiwal encounter: LHC issues notice to complainant for changing statement

December 22, 2021
Sahiwal encounter: LHC issues notice to complainant for changing statement

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Tuesday issued a notice to the complainant in the Sahiwal incident for changing his statement before the trial court that led to the acquittal of all the suspects (police personnel).

A division bench seized with a Punjab government’s appeal challenging the acquittal of the suspects also issued a notice to then district police officer of Sahiwal, Ali Zia, after a witness, Waseem, claimed that the officer had pressurised him to change his statement. The complainant, Muhammad Jaleel, was also present in the court.

Justice Chaudhry Abdul Aziz, who headed the bench, observed that the suspects were acquitted after the complainant and the witnesses resiled from their statements and the judiciary was blamed for not rendering justice in the case. Visibly annoyed, the judge observed, “first they raised hell and later they refused to identify the suspects.” The bench issued notices to the complainant and the former DPO for Jan 17.

On Jan 19, 2019 Muhammad Khalil, his wife Nabeela and their four children were travelling in a car with neighbour Zeeshan behind the steering wheel when the personnel of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) intercepted the vehicle and opened fire on the passengers suspecting them terrorists. Three minor siblings of Khalil namely Umair, Jazba and Muneeba survived the attack with minor injuries.

Yousafwala police had registered the FIR on the complaint of Jalil, brother of deceased Khalil, under sections 302, 324, 337 (F1, F-A1 & F3), 201 of Pakistan Penal Code and section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997. The suspects namely Safdar Hussain, Ahsan Khan, Muhammad Ramzan, Saifullah, Hasnain Akbar and Nasir Nawaz were indicted by the trial court. However, they were acquitted after all the witnesses exonerated the suspects from the charge or said they knew nothing about the occurrence. The government filed the appeal against the acquittal of the police personnel.

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