–Khalil’s son Umair debunks CTD officials’ claim that car’s passengers had opened fire on them first
LAHORE: One of the children who witnessed the fake encounter by Punjab Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) personnel near Sahiwal last month has refuted the cops’ statements that the victims of the incident had opened fire on police first.
Umair, the son of victim Khalil, who was present in the vehicle along with his mother, elder sister, two younger sisters and the driver, told the joint investigation team (JIT) that the family left their home at 8am but when they reached close to Qadirpur, someone opened fire at the vehicle from behind.
“Because of the firing, our car collided with the divider and an official, whose face was covered, opened fire on our driver Zeeshan and killed him,” he said.
“When the firing paused, we could hear one of the officials speaking on the phone,” he said, adding that two police vans then approached the scene.
“My father pleaded before the masked officials to ‘take whatever they wanted but spare our lives’,” he said.
“At that point, the official got off the phone and ordered the others to start shooting again,” he added.
“The police opened fire for a second time and my parents and sister Areeba were killed.”
“My father had hidden Muniba in his lap, while my mother had hidden Hadia and me,” he elaborated.
Umair explained that after the firing stopped, the police took him and his sister out of the car and shifted them to the police van before firing again. He added that the police then dropped the three at a deserted place from where an unknown person picked them up and dropped them at a petrol station.
“The officials then came to the petrol pump and took us to a hospital.”
“Statement issued by the CTD officials was fabricated,” he said, while adding that there were no explosives in the vehicle.
Four people, including three members of a family, were killed in an alleged encounter in Sahiwal on January 19. CTD personnel had said they had killed a local commander of Islamic State or Daesh and three others in the operation. However, eyewitnesses and three children, whose parents were killed, disputed the claim.
The incident sparked a national outcry and prompted the PM to order an investigation into the killings.
On Thursday, the Lahore High Court (LHC) indicated at forming a judicial commission to probe into the Sahiwal tragedy after the family of the victims had expressed reservations against the JIT.