LAHORE - A robbery suspect was found dead in the lockup of Lower Mall police station on early Saturday. The body was moved to the morgue for autopsy.

The deceased was identified by police as 30-year-old Shan alias Shani, a resident of Farrakhabad, Shahdara. Shani was arrested by police in connection with a robbery case three days ago.

According to his relatives, Shani was brutally tortured by police during the interrogation. A family member of the victim told reporters at the city morgue that the police applied third-degree methods and tortured the suspect to extort money. He also demanded an independent inquiry to investigate the death.

On the other hand, a police spokesman denied the torture allegations and claimed that the accused was recovered dead from the lockup in the morning. According to him, Shan alias Shani had a criminal history and he was wanted to the police in more than two dozen cases. The police are also examining the CCTV footage of the lockup in order to investigate the incident, the spokesman said.  A police official at the Lower Mall station said the accused had attempted suicide by slashing blade on his body the other day. The police registered another case against him for attempting suicide and he was sent to the lockup again. The police are also investigating other suspects who were present in the lockup here was the accused was found dead.

Punjab Police Inspector General Arif Nawaz took notice of the death in custody and ordered the Lahore police to thoroughly investigate the incident and send back a detailed report to the central police office.

Deaths in custody are not rare in this Punjab province where police routinely apply third-degree methods to investigate the crime suspects.

 

A suspected child rapist was found hanged inside the lockup of the Akbari Gate police station early this month. The deceased, identified as Zeeshan, was arrested by police allegedly for sexually assaulting a child. The police later claimed that the accused committed suicide by hanging himself in the lockup late night.

           

 

ASHRAF JAVED