Rawalpindi - As many as eight officials of railway police, including a sub-inspector, tortured a 38-year-old passenger of Mehar Express to death over rejecting police’s request to evacuate a sleeper berth which the cops wanted for their colleagues on Wednesday.

The deceased was identified as Muhammad Saleem Khan son of Hayyat Ullah Khan, a resident of district Mianwali. He was a driver by profession and was employed at Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNAR) Islamabad.

Railways police registered a case against the SI and his seven accomplices and arrested them.

According to details, Muhammad Saleem Khan arrived at railway station and bought a ticket to travel to Rawalpindi. The passenger was allotted seat number 194 in bogie number 5. As the train started its journey, the passenger slept on his berth. In the meanwhile, a group of policemen including Wasim Abbasi arrived in the bogie at Daud Kheel and asked Saleem to vacate the sleeper berth as some cops wanted to take nap over there. The cops started beating the passenger black and blue with punches, kicks and handles of riffles when he refused to come down from the sleeping berth. The other passengers tried to stop police from subjecting the passenger to torture but all in vain.

This brutal torture left Saleem in a pool of blood while the police left the scene. Later, Saleem went to passenger guard in-charge and lodged his complaint. However, later, the passenger succumbed to his fatal injuries.

The news of passenger’s death spread like jungle fire as SP Railways Riaz Ahmed, DSP Muhammad Riaz and SHO police station railways Rawalpindi Noor Hayyat Gondal rushed to the railway station and took the dead body into custody. Later, the dead body was shifted to District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ) for autopsy.

A source revealed to The Nation that the passenger was beaten ruthlessly as his blood scattered in the bogie.

A case number 84 under section 302/34 was registered against the eight railway police officials on the complaint of brother of the deceased and all were arrested, said the SHO while talking to The Nation. He added that all accused were arrested and put behind the lock-up. Those who were nabbed included SI Muhammad Latif, Constable Waseem Abbasi, Head Constable Liaquat, Nasir Maseeh, Muhammad Raffique, Abdul Rashid, Ameer Hamza and Ameer Umer. A large number of relatives including high-ups of PNAR reached railway police station to receive the dead body, which was later transported to Piplan, Mianwali, for burial.

Naseem Khan, the brother of deceased, told this scribe that his brother was returning to Islamabad to join his duty after spending Eid-ul-Azha with his family.

He said that the doctors during initial post mortem suggested that brutal torture on Saleem caused multiple fractures in his skull, legs and arms owing to which he died. The deceased left behind a wife, two daughters and two sons, he added.

Railways Minister Saad Rafique has taken notice of the incident and directed DG Railways Munir Chishti to investigate the involvement of railways police. Furthermore, an investigative team has been formed under the supervision of DIG Shariq Kamal to probe into the incident.