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‘Torture Cell’ Run By SHO Discovered In Lahore

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The anti-corruption department has discovered a torture cell established at a local office of the Forest Department. The cell was unearthed while the officials were in the field for an investigation.

In a report in Dawn, it has been stated that the torture cell was being operated allegedly by the Gujjarpura station house officer and three constables. The police officials used to keep suspects in the cell under the guise of interrogation.

During their investigation, the anti-corruption officials heard cries, and upon following the sounds they found a building located in the middle of the jungle. The officials found six locked men in the building. Two of them were in handcuffs with one of them in a serious condition due to apparent third-degree torture.

Upon reaching the building, the officials recorded whatever they witnessed on a mobile phone. The most severely injured of the men, Amjad, had his backbone and hips fractured and could not even move.

Amjad told media that the suspected police officials had gained entry into his house by climbing the walls. They then dragged his wife and children and put him into a police van without telling him the reason behind his arrest. Amjad was brought to the building and severely tortured for the whole night.

The other men imprisoned in that building had similar stories to Amjad, with none of them knowing the reasons behind their arrest.

A captive Irfan Ali said that he operated a make-up and jewellery shop and was picked up by the policemen and brought to the building. Upon asking the charges against him, he was severely tortured.

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Another man, Zafar, said that he worked in Parinda Market and was also unaware of the charges or any case lodged against him.

The captives said that the police officials would come at night and torture them.

The video made by the Forest Department officials reached police high-ups and was widely shared on social media. Following this, the Punjab Inspector General of Police retired Captain Arif Nawaz took notice of the incident and ordered the Lahore capital city police officer to probe into the incident.

Recently, the IGP had issued a policy guideline with strict instructions to police officials to not engage in torture of suspects, and that deaths in police custody will not be tolerated.

The discovery of this torture cell indicates that the IGP’s instructions have not been completely effective.

Talking to media, Senior Superintendent of Police (Operations) Ismail Kharrak said, “I’m shocked to find out the torture cell run by the SHO and the other policemen despite clear standing instructions of the Punjab IGP.”

He emphasised that there was zero tolerance for such acts and added that the SHO and the three constables in question have been suspended from service after they were found guilty in the inquiry related to the incident.

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