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Family of Sahiwal Tragedy Victims Urge SC To Constitute Judicial Commission

Family of Sahiwal tragedy victims on Tuesday petitioned the Supreme Court to constitute a Judicial Commission to probe the incident.

On January 19 this year, more than a dozen Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) personnel had followed a car that was on its way from Lahore to Narolwal, and opened indiscriminate fire on the vehicle.

The attack resulted in the death of three people including Muhammad Khalil, his wife Nabeela Khalil and their daughter Areeba Khalil. Khalil’s son Muhammad Umair and another daughter Jazeeba Khalil were injured.

The tragic incident enraged the public after videos of the ‘operation’ went viral on social media. However, despite commitments by the government, the family of the victims are still awaiting justice.

On January 21, Punjab’s Additional Home Secretary constituted a five-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to investigate the incident. However Muhammad Jalil, brother of Khalil, has knocked the door of the country’s top court. According to him, he is dissatisfied with the JIT findings and orders of the Lahore High Court (LHC). He said he had moved a writ petition in LHC on February 14, asking the court to direct Sahiwal sessions judge to depute a magistrate to conduct a judicial inquiry of the incident. But on March 18, LHC dismissed the writ petition ruling that the high court lacks jurisdiction for constituting a Judicial Commission, Jalil added.

His appeal contends that JIT’s report is not compatible with the true facts of the case.

The appeal which he filed in Supreme Court maintains that different government ministers have changed their statements on the incident more than once, which shows connivance or ill-will regarding the dispensation of justice to the petitioner and his aggrieved family.  It adds that despite Prime Minister Imran Khan instructing the Punjab chief minister to constitute a Judicial Commission to find out the truth of the Sahiwal tragedy, there has been no progress so far.

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The appeal next contends that in order to hide the real culprits of the said incident a false FIR was lodged at first on January 19 at Lahore P.S CTD to conclude the victims of the incident as criminals/ terrorists. It was only the hue and cry raised by the petitioner and his relatives as well as the media that compelled the officials in charge to lodge the second FIR on January 20.

According to news reports, the Senate Standing Committee had also concluded that JIT will not be able to bring the truth to surface regarding the said incident because of involvement of CTD and other high police officials.

 

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