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Citizens complain of illegal pickets

20-year-old Zumran was shot and injure­d by uniden­tified ‘police­men’ on Sept 13




Police have taken no action to end illegal pickets set up in the city where citizens are forced to pay bribes. Most policemen who stop and frisk road users at such pickets are not displaying any identity markers.

On September 13, 2015, 20-year-old Zumran was shot and injured when he encountered one such picket near FC College Underpass.

His father told police that Zumran was returning home from Johar Town. “Two policemen signalled him to stop. When he slowed down to stop ahead of the picket, the policemen opened fire. He received a bullet to one of his legs and fell down. The policemen fled away,” the victim’s father said.

After the incident, Model Town SP Capt (r) Mustansir Feroz had claimed that they did not have a picket at the site and vowed to investigate the incident. Ichhra police registered a case.

Talking to The Express Tribune on Tuesday, Investigation Officer SI Muhammad Aslam said that the complainant had not met him yet. “They have not submitted a medico-legal report. I tried to contact him, but his number was off,” he claimed.

The complainant told The Express Tribune that he had visited the police station four times. “Every time I go there, the policemen tell me that I need not worry, that they are looking for the culprits and will arrest them soon,” he said.

Irfan Chaudhry, an Engineering University student, told The Express Tribune that he was stopped by policemen at a picket near Aik Morya Pul. “I was riding my bike along with a friend. Two Muhafiz Squad personnel signalled us to stop. They frisked us thoroughly. When they did not find anything objectionable, they asked for our CNICs and registration papers for the vehicle. We showed them our identity cards and a photocopy of the registration papers of the bike. I do not carry the original documents due to bike-snatching incidents. The policemen told us to accompany them to the police station or pay them Rs200. I chose the latter option,” he said. Chaudhry said that the policemen were not wearing any name tags on their shirts.

Ateequr Rehman, a resident of Township, said that he was stopped by two Muhafiz Squad personnel on Davis Road. “After they failed to recover anything illegal from me, they objected to my bike’s number plates. They told me to pay them or agree to be taken to the police station,” he said. He said that the policemen were not displaying any identification.

Operations DIG Dr Haider Ashraf said that performing duties without displaying identity markers or setting up pickets on other than the appointed sites were serious violations. “We take serious departmental action against such violations,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 1st, 2015.

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