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Jirga imposes Rs1.5m fine on three policemen in custodial killing case

Jirga imposes Rs1.5m fine on three policemen in custodial killing case

SHIKARPUR: A jirga (tribal court) presided over by community elders Advocate Ali Asghar Pahore and Afzal Mughal has settled a custodial killing case involving three policemen in Shikarpur, it was reported on Monday.

An electronics technician, Ustad Saleem Kamangar, who was also a leader of the local traders community, was picked up by CIA police head constable, Imdad Brohi aka Commando, and two other policemen, Syed Qaim Ali Shah and Dadan Jalbani, on the eve of Eidul Azha (Sept 24) and lodged in the lock-up of the Lakhi Gate police station. The victim died in the lock-up a few hours later. The bereaved family held protest demonstrations accusing the policemen of having tortured the victim to death. The policemen were detained a few days after the incident and an FIR was also registered against them on an order issued by the SSP concerned but they were not declared “arrested”.

The bereaved family took the matter to the jirga, which convened its deliberations at the city’s Furqania Hall, Lakhi Gate, late on Sunday evening. The jirga was informed that Brohi, along with his two colleagues, had come to Mr Kamangar’s shop with a complaint that the remote control they had purchased from him did not function. There was a heated argument between the two sides after which the policemen took him away to the Lakhi Gate police station.

After hearing the two sides, the jirga found the three policemen guilty of killing the victim in custody. It ordered the policemen to pay a fine of Rs1.5 million to the aggrieved side, which undertook not to pursue any legal proceedings against them.

The guilty side paid a sum of Rs100,000 to Mr Kamangar’s family on the spot and promised to pay off the remaining fine amount by Nov 5. An agreement to this effect was signed by the two sides under guarantee of the jirga members.

The policemen were released immediately after the jirga completed its deliberations.

Lakhi Gate SHO Bashir Khokhar, whose comment on their release was sought by the media, argued that although the suspects remained in police custody, their arrest had not been shown till date. “Therefore, they have been let off,” he added. The SHO said that the statement of the complainant party over the matter had been recorded.

Published in Dawn, October 13th, 2015

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