ISLAMABAD - The Child Rights Movement Monday vehemently condemned the brutal killings of innocent citizens in front of their children by Punjab police in Sahiwal and demanded exemplary punishment for murderers.

At a press conference held here at the National Press Club Islamabad, a group of social activists criticised the government’s alleged failure to provide protection to children and said the brutal killing of parents in front of children will have a deep psychological impact as it has destroyed their childhood.

Coordinator Child Rights Movement Sajjad Cheema said that no law allows police to kill anybody even the criminals on roads merely on doubt and only courts can convict them but after a due process of law.

“Punjab police is ill reputed and known for its extra judicial killings while the Sahiwal incident once again has made a question mark on its performance”, he maintained, suggesting: “The police should have to arrest the criminals.”

He said that the inquiry report of respective deputy commissioner also stated that the citizens were unarmed when they were gunned down by the police.

He further said that the children would never forget violence initiated by law enforcement agencies and remain in trauma for whole life while the incident has raised the concern of parents in the country and insecurity for their children.

“We are standing behind the children, who lost their parents in said incident”, he said, adding: “We demand from the government to lodge a case against the officials involved in this negligence while courts should do a speedy trial in the case as well.”

Meanwhile, the head of Sustainable Social Development Organisation (SSDO) Syed Kausar Abbas also criticised the incident and stated that the protection of each and every citizen is the responsibility of the state and it has been failed to do the same.

He also raised questions on the credibility of a Joint Investigation Team headed by a police officer to ascertain the facts in instant case, saying: “How a police officer can held responsible his own department for such a gross negligence and inhuman act.”  “Police are being paid by taxpayers money to protect the masses not to kill them”, he said, adding: “It is a test case for the proponents of Riasat-e-Madina that how they will react on it.”