LAHORE - Government’s decision to form a joint investigation team instead of a judicial commission was challenged in the Lahore High Court. The petition was moved by Safdar Shahi Pirzada.

In Sahiwal, unarmed parents were killed in front of their children by the CTD personnel. The government should have formed a judicial commission for probe into the incident. The government formed only a JIT as it did not want transparent investigation of the inhuman episode, says petitioner. He pleaded that the court may kindly order the formation of a judicial commission under a serving judge to probe the incident.

The petition seeks action against the officials of Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) for being involved in an allegedly fake encounter took place in Sahiwal.

The petitioner says the CTD personnel have no such right to open fire in public at unarmed citizens. “The car riders could have been caught alive, however, owing to untrained officers, four people were killed in the incident,” says the petition. The petitioner also prayed that strict legal action be taken against policemen involved in killings. The three family members and their friend were killed in the fake shootout. They were travelling by a car when the inhuman act of the police personnel took place on GT Road in Qadirabad area of Sahiwal district.

The CTD had claimed that the operation was carried out on a tip-off that suspected terrorists were present in the car. On the other side, eyewitnesses strongly opposed the CTD’s claim and said that the four victims were gunned down by the police. They also stated that no weapon was recovered from the vehicle after the killings. On the side, a CTD statement says, “The [alleged] terrorists retaliated by firing at the CTD officials following which a shootout ensued. Once the firing stopped, four people were found dead, reportedly as a result of firing by their own accomplices, while three terrorists had fled the scene.”

It also claimed that the suspects travelling towards Sahiwal were in possession of arms and explosives while the eyewitnesses and people present at the hospital said that police shot them in cold blood.

The Punjab Bar Council called for observing strikes across the Punjab province especially Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Muzaffargarh, Vehari, Khanewal and Dera Ghazi Khan.