Police pressure seems to have worked upon another case. The father of Salahudin, an ATM thief who died in police custody, has pardoned the police officers who were accused of killing his son. Salahuddin’s father, Afzal, pardoned the police officers at a mosque in Gujranwala and explained that he was doing so for Allah. The additional deputy commissioner (ADC) for revenue, Zeeshan Hanif, was also present in the mosque when Afzal pardoned the police officers.
— ARY Videos (@ARYVideos) October 15, 2019
People on social media expressed their anger over this act of pardon and demanded justice for Salahudin.
Citizens have demanded the state to ensure impartial investigation in order to set a precedent so that nobody in the future becomes the target of the police.
Regardless of any pardons by family members, it is the State that should be conducting an independent, impartial and thorough inquiry and subsequent prosecution against police officials involved in torturing & murdering Salahuddin while he was in custody. Onus is on the State.
— Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir (@ImaanZHazir) October 16, 2019
Salahudin’s case exposed the state of police reforms in Punjab. Social media erupted with the news and demanded strict action against the culprits. However, senior officers initially maintained that no force was used against the accused.
Later on, the postmortem forensic report on the death of Salahuddin Ayubi confirmed torture marks on his body prior to his death, health department officials, as well as the District Standing Medical Board (DSMB) in Rahim Yar Khan, concluded. Medical Superintendent Dr. Ghulam Rabbani told media on Tuesday that the report was prepared by the Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA) and was submitted to City A division police.
Forensic Reports proves that #Salahuddin died bcoz of the torture of Police we demand justice for Salahuddin.#JusticeForSalahuddin#SalahuddinwedidntForgetYou@ArifAlvi @ImranKhanPTI @UsmanAKBuzdar@ChMSarwar pic.twitter.com/UKKGXtWRT8
— Khursheed Ahmed Abbasi (@KhurshidAbbasii) October 15, 2019
Background of the Case
According to details, a resident of Gujrat’s Kamonkey district, Salahuddin was arrested from Rahim Yar Khan from an ATM booth after attempting a robbery. Police reported that upon his arrest Salahuddin had presented himself as being speech impaired but that claim was disproved later.
According to sources, all efforts were being made to silence the family and divert public attention. However, social media has become unmanageable for the Punjab police.
Initially, some reports claimed that Salahuddin had been suffering from a health ailment earlier and is believed to have died from a heart attack. He was rushed to the hospital after his illness worsened. An inquiry into the cause of his death has been ordered by the District Police Officer.
However, the police’s version got challenged after the family shared pictures of Salahudin’s dead body. Police have apparently beaten him to death. Human rights activist Jibran Nasir said that “while Police claims #Salahuddin died due to cardiac arrest and is quoting a senior doctor as saying there were no torture marks without sharing the actual report the pictures taken by Salahuddin’s family of his body before burial are harrowing.”
While Police claims #Salahuddin died due to cardiac arrest and is quoting a senior doctor as saying there were no torture marks without sharing the actual report the pictures taken by Salahuddin's family of his body before burial are harrowing. pic.twitter.com/OpHjAopAOe
— M. Jibran Nasir (@MJibranNasir) September 3, 2019
The politicization of police still continues to be the most challenging issue in the province. The PTI promised before coming into power to reform the police and make it a model institution. But after assuming the offices, the party has failed to introduce any change which might have impacted the performance of the police across the province. It has disappointed many of PTI’s supporters who were expecting to live in Naya Pakistan.