SHEIKHUPURA-The youth tortured to death by policemen was neither a robber, nor a thieve, rather he was punished for a quarrel with the son of a local influential person, claimed eye-witnesses and the family on Tuesday.

Arsalan Maseeh, 14, was tortured to death by the policemen of Bagh Chowk Police-Post on Monday after picking him up on trumped-up theft charges, alleged father of the slain youth Mushtaq Masih, a labourer and resident of Jhabbran Mandi, some 25km away from here.

According to some eye-witness, the youth was neither a robber nor thieve. “Sometime back, his classmates, belonging to influential families had quarrelled with him,” the eye-witnesses who requested not to be named claimed. “Following the quarrel, a police team comprising three constables and a Razakar, on the orders of Bagh Chow Police-Post In-Charge Imran Asif, picked up the youth p from a private tuition centre where he was an eight-grader,” the witnesses informed. They claimed the police actual picked up the youth on the behest of the influential persons whose kids had quarrelled with the slain youth. “A teacher of the institution tried to put up resistance but the raiding policemen pushed him away and took the youth to the police-post,” an eye-witness said.

During interrogation on baseless theft charges, the policemen tortured the youth severely. While the Razakar hit him in the head with a gun butt, which caused excessive bleeding and consequently the youth succumbed to the bleeding wound. The policemen took the youth a nearby quack clinic who pronounced him as dead, upon which the policemen fled away, leaving the body in the clinic.

Later, the bereaved family along with hundreds of locals staged a protest against the police, demanding stern action against the cops involved in the incident, especially the Bagh Police-Post In-charge Imran Asif.

Though DPO Sarfraz Virk took notice of the incident and got registered a case against three constables and a Razakar but the police-post in-charge was not named in the FIR. The family alleged that the DPO attempted to save the “real culprit” by naming only the subordinate cops. They alleged that the police post in-charge is responsible for the entire episode and he must be brought to the book.