Saturday April 20, 2024

Cop who lost leg in line of duty awaits justice

By Arshad Dogar
July 13, 2022

LAHORE: A constable, who was shot at and injured and later lost his leg in the line of duty allegedly owing to firing by officers of a federal organisation in Phularwan police limits in Sargodha district during the PTI Azadi March, awaits justice, as none of the accused persons has been surrendered to police by the outfit concerned so far.

The 25-year old unmarried constable, Asad Abbas, says the accused have ruined his life at a time. He said he was on an official duty for over 20 hours when the incident had taken place.

According to the FIR (No 253/22) registered on the complaint of SI Shahid Nawaz of PS (Police Station) Phularwan under Sections 7ATA, 324, 148, 149, 353, 186,440 and 337 H(2) of PPC, heavy contingents of police, including SHOs of Mela, Kotmomin, Miani police stations and constable Asad Abbas, were on duty under Sahnian Wala Salim Flyover at around 6:45pm when the Bhera SHO informed that two white double-cabin vehicles having 20 to 25 armed people were heading towards the Salim Flyover after manhandling cops, subjecting them to torture and resorting to aerial firing at the Bhera Interchange.

During the wireless information by the Bhera SHO, the vehicles approached the Salim Flyover and introduced themselves as officers of a federal organisation. The officer in the front seat questioned cops as to why they were standing here. “Was it their father’s place”, the complainant quoted the accused persons in the FIR as saying. Meanwhile, the other accused persons sitting in the front seat said they should teach these policemen a lesson.

The accused persons also used abusive language and started torturing cops with clubs and bats. The uniform of constables Naeem and Waqar Younis were torn while the windowpanes of SDPO Kotmomin Circle’s vehicle were smashed. The accused persons allegedly fired at the cops.

Constable Asad Abbas was hit in his right leg while the other vehicle of the Bhalwal ASP was damaged in the firing. They also damaged the prison van parked there. They resorted to aerial firing before fleeing towards Kotmomin Motorway. The injured constable was shifted to hospital where his leg was amputated after four days.

The police have also sought arrest warrants for the accused persons, but so far no officer has surrendered. Sources said the federal organisation’s parent department had formed an inquiry committee and also made the Bhalwal SDPO a member.

The Sargodha police are waiting for the report of the inquiry committee. However, the sources said that the inquiry had been finalised and responsibility fixed for a departmental action. They said that a joint investigation team would be constituted to fix responsibility for legal proceedings in the court under the registered FIR.

It was also learnt another FIR had been registered against the same accused persons at Bhera police station, as the first altercation with the cops had occurred there. Police officers and officials are still silent over the motive behind the incident. However, the accused persons have been identified through CCTV footages. Constable Asad Abbas while talking to The News said that he had become a victim to the bullet.

To a question about the motive behind the incident, he said he didn’t know, adding that at the time of incident there was no hurdle to their way. He said the Azadi March had concluded and they were waiting for the orders of their commander to stand down.

He demanded justice on merit. Talking to The News, DSP Muhammad Riaz, who is a member of inquiry committee, said the inquiry had not been completed so far. About fixing responsibility on the accused persons, he avoided to comment, saying it was a secret inquiry and he could not comment on it. Sargodha DPO Bilal Zafar talking to The News said he had been waiting for inquiry report.

Once he received the report, he would be in a position to comment on it, he said. When contacted, former Sargodha DPO Dr Rizwan Khan said the officers of the parent department of the federal organisation had cooperated with police and they had assured of them justice on pure merit.