LAHORE– City police badly tortured a 60-year-old man during interrogation in connection with a kidnapping case, which resulted in his death in the police lock-up, police sources said on Monday.

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The police investigators raided a house situated at Ghazi Road in Liaqatabad police area in the wee hours of Monday and picked up Sanaullah, father of eight. The family members claimed that the police tortured Sanaullah during interrogation, which led to his instant death. They further said that the policemen fled away after throwing the dead body outside a hospital in Model Town and later told the deceased’s family that Sanaullah died because of cardiac arrest.

A good number of relatives and family members of the deceased gathered outside the police station and staged a strong protest demonstration against the police highhandedness. They also chanted slogans against the government and alleged that the province had become a police state.

According to the police, a police team headed by Sub Inspector Mahmood Shah raided the house to arrest an accused, Rafaqat Ali, who was wanted to the police in a kidnapping case. The police had registered a kidnapping case against the accused on the complaint of one Babar Shahzad. The complainant alleged that Rafaqat had kidnapped his daughter and took her to some unknown location.

Local residents claimed that the daughter of Babar Shahzad had eloped with Rafaqat as they wanted contract love-marriage against the will of their parents. Resident of Sahiwal, Rafaqat, who was residing with his uncle, Sanaullah, had arrived in the City a few months ago to work. He developed love-affair with the girl.

Police investigators revealed that the police arrested Sanaullah after his nephew escaped police raid. The police tortured the old man to know the whereabouts of the couple. The man died in police custody on Monday morning.

According to the police, four policemen including Sub Inspector Mahmood Shah, Constables, Irfan, Azhar and Islam have been arrested and a murder case has also been registered against them. The police have removed the body to the morgue for an autopsy.

Deaths of accused in police custody and private torture cells, being run by the police, are common in this City. The government is initiating several key projects to reform the police or Thana culture but virtually the provincial hierarchy has failed to bring any positive change in the policemen’s attitude.