–JIT claims non-cooperation by eye-witnesses
–Victims’ family demands security from government
SAHIWAL: The postmortem reports of the family members who were killed in the Sahiwal incident revealed on Monday that the victims were shot 34 times from a close distance.
According to the report, 13-year-old Areeba received four bullets within a nine-centimetre patch on her upper body, which also burnt her skin. Since the bullets were shot from a close distance, they also broke her ribcage. Her parents Khalil and Nabeela received 11 and four bullets respectively out of which one each went through their heads.
Zeeshan, the driver of the car, received 13 bullets and one of them hit his head, causing his bones to stick out of the skin, the report added.
A report of the wounded children of the family stated that a bullet pierced six-year-old Muneeba’s hand and another bullet hit Umair in the calf.
JIT CLAIMS NON-COOPERATION BY EYEWITNESSES:
The joint investigation team (JIT) probing the fake encounter in Sahiwal earlier this month is experiencing difficulties in recording eyewitness statements.
On Monday, eyewitnesses of the incident did not approach the police despite announcements made through mosques and notices plastered on walls requesting eyewitnesses to record their statements.
However, only two people who had arrived at the site after the incident had occurred approached the police.
“Two statements have been recorded. We will come again if anything else comes forward. We are in Sahiwal and eyewitnesses can come to meet us this evening or even tomorrow,” said JIT head AIG Aijaz Shah.
On January 19, four people – including two women – were killed in a fake encounter involving Punjab’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) personnel on a highway in the Qadirabad area of Sahiwal district.
The police first identified the victims as “kidnappers” and then as “terrorists of a proscribed group”, raising doubts over the ‘shooting’.
Last week, the Punjab government claimed that Zeeshan Javed, the driver of the Suzuki Alto car killed along with an innocent family, had links with a terrorist group.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had vowed to take “swift action” against the CTD officials after the joint investigation team findings into Sahiwal incident while the opposition has lambasted the federal government for turning Punjab into a “police state”.
Five CTD officials have been charged with the murder of the family as well.
VICTIMS’ FAMILY DEMANDS SECURITY:
The lawyer representing family members of Khalil has alleged that CTD officers are still trying to save their colleagues. Shahbaz Bukhari informed reporters that members of Khalil’s family, including his brother, were receiving death threats.
“CCPO Lahore has been informed of the threats and family members have also told the JIT about life threats,” Bukhari said.
He also presented a recording of a phone call and said that a BPS-20 officer of CTD threatened him and said that he should take back the case otherwise he would be killed.