Senate Committee Recommends Formation Of JIT To Probe Custodial Killings
The Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights took up the issue of the torture and death of detainees in Punjab today.
During the meeting, the committee took briefings from district police officer Rahim Yar Khan on the issue of the custodial torture and killing of Sallahuddin Ayubi, who broke into an ATM machine in Rahim Yar Khan. The committee recommended that a joint investigation team be formed to investigate the matter independently.
The senate committee was informed that various organs of the victim had been sent for testing to ascertain the cause of Sallahuddin’s death, the results of which are awaited.
The committee took serious notice of the absence of inspector general of police Punjab. The chairman of the committee was of the view that there were various questions pertaining to this case that can only be answered by IGP Punjab. He stressed the need for him to be present in the next meeting when this issue would be taken up again when the forensic reports would be available.
Moreover, measures for police reform were stressed in order to find a solution to custodial killings in Punjab. While taking up the case of Amir Masih, the committee was of the view that this was a gross violation of human rights as he was taken to an unknown place for interrogation and in an attempt to flee the place, he jumped down from the second floor, where he was being detained. The committee assured that strict action would be taken against the sub-inspector involved in Amir’s case as he was detained without fulfilling legal formalities.
Furthermore, the committee was of the view that it should send a strong recommendation regarding the matter after detailed discussions with the Ministry of Human Rights and the Interior Ministry.
While discussion on the anti-torture bill, the committee was informed that the bill was currently with the Interior Ministry for review. The committee decided that the bill should be introduced by former senator Farhatullah Babar and be tabled in the forthcoming session of the senate.
The Committee also resolved to make all the necessary efforts for passing the said bill in the Senate at the earliest.
The author is a reporter based in Islamabad.