WAH CANTT - A man disclosed to the media that the Taxila Police were running a private torture cell at the house of a local political activist near Nawababad - an area in the constituency of Federal Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan.

Telling his terrible tale at a lawyer’s chamber, Awal Khan alleged that the police took him and his friend Hameed Khan to the cell on July 9 for extorting Rs5,00,000. “We were also kept at private torture cells in Gujranwala and Lahore, followed by detention at an under-construction house of a police inspector in Rawalpindi. We were tortured, given electric shocks and our nails were pulled out,” he said.

Flanked by the brother of Hameed Khan, he said that his friend succumbed to the torture but his body was never made public and the police were concealing the crime.

In reply to a query, he said that they were picked by police for extortion as no case was registered against him. Following his release, he added that he got an FIR registered against police; however, the police booked five people so far: three cops and two civilians.

Without naming any party, Awal Khan claimed that some political workers were also involved in the crime. “To save big fishes, the Taxila SHO booked Constables Zulfiar Ali, Saeeduz Zaman and Zaheer Iqbal and two hired hitmen Naseer Khan and Khurrum Butt,” he said.

"One of the senior police officials threatened to kill and dump me if I nominated SHO and DSP,” he added.

Now police have been registering fake FIRs in bid to save their skin, the media heard. The brother of Hameed Khan made an appeal to the Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and police high-ups to help him recover the missing man.

Local human rights activist showed solidarity with the victims and made an appeal to the authorities concerned to wake up to the issue.

When contacted, DSP Malik Muhammad Irshad confirmed that five people - three cops and two civilians - were booked for the crime and raids were made for their arrest.

About the whereabouts of the missing Hameed Khan, he said that the situation would be clear after the arrest of runaway cops. He assured that law would take its course without any discrimination.