The Inspector General of Police in Punjab, Dr Usman Anwar, has dismissed accusations made by the PTI party that the provincial administration was responsible for the alleged killing of one of their workers in custody. He claims that the incident was an accident that was unfortunately misconstrued by the public.
The incident occurred on March 8 when a rally was being organized to launch the PTI’s campaign for the upcoming elections in Punjab. The police were forced to use force to disperse the rally, and in the process, a PTI worker named Ali Bilal, also known as Zille Shah, was killed while several others were injured and detained.
Recently, the police claimed to have arrested two suspects who alleged that Bilal was involved in an accident with their car, which resulted in his death. The suspects claimed that the accident happened in Fortress Stadium, where Bilal was present with five other friends.
However, the PTI leadership maintains that Bilal was tortured and killed in police custody. The postmortem report issued by the Mayo Hospital supports their claims as it revealed that Bilal suffered from severe blunt trauma and had fractures in his skull, liver, spleen, and testes, which led to internal bleeding.
At a press conference in Lahore, the senior police officer, along with the caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi, refuted the claims made by the PTI party and denied any involvement of the provincial administration in the incident. He insisted that the evidence suggests that this was an accident and that none of the accused attempted to kill Bilal and blamed it on the police. He also noted that the suspects appeared tense in the CCTV footage.
Complete CCTV footage of Bilal Ali 😔 pic.twitter.com/IjfM6847wp— Abdul Qadir (@CurrentPaki1) March 10, 2023
According to a senior police officer, the incident in which a worker was hit by a car and killed was misinterpreted. The owner of the vehicle, Raja Shakeel, who is the vice president of the PTI in Central Punjab, had no intention to kill the worker. The police obtained evidence and phone call details of political leaders involved in a conspiracy to blame the police and the administration for the incident. The IG clarified that the people in the car were not criminals and tried to save the victim. False videos and messages were spread on social media to defame the police and administration.
The Punjab IG informed that 31 CCTV cameras helped trace the car involved in the accident. The caretaker CM criticized the PTI for holding a press conference to blame the police and administration despite knowing the facts. The CM denied any involvement of the police in torturing workers of a particular party and said that the IG would visit the victim’s father and provide financial assistance to the heirs.
بےشرم آدمی! تمہارا کام 90 روز میں الیکشن کروانا اور گھر جاناہےمگرتم سرپرستوں کےاشاروں پر صوبےمیں آئینی حقوق کی بدترین خلاف ورزیوں کےذریعےقانون اورجمہوریت کی قبریں گھودنےمیں مصروف ہو! یادرکھو! قوم تم سےمعصوم ظلِ شاہ کےقتل سمیت بدمعاشی/+آئین شکنی کی ہر واردات کا پورا حساب لے گی! pic.twitter.com/QLYE9vsoDC— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) March 11, 2023
The CM condemned the PTI for doing injustice to him and the police administration and commended the Punjab police for their efforts in tracing the suspects.
PTI castigates CM Naqvi for creating false narrative
During the press briefing, the confessional video statements of the two suspects were played, who is currently under police custody.
The CM warned that any deterioration in law and order would hamper peace in the province, especially with elections approaching soon. He also expressed concern over the PTI’s decision to hold a rally on the same day as other public gatherings related to Aurat March and other marches in the Punjab capital.
علی بلال کی پوسٹ مارٹم اور پولیس کی اپنی مدعیت میں عمران خان اور ان کے ساتھیوں پر علی بلال کے قتل کا مقدمہ نگراں وزیراعلی کے جھوٹ کا سب سے بڑا ثبوت ہے۔— Hammad Azhar (@Hammad_Azhar) March 11, 2023
یہ اب تیسرے cover up کی کوشش ہے۔ ارشد شریف کے قتل، عمران خان پر حملہ اور علی بلال کا قتل کو پر غور کریں کیسی کہانیاں بنائی گئیں۔ pic.twitter.com/0WWvJeisBc
After the press conference held by CM Naqvi, the PTI leadership criticized him for allegedly creating a false narrative and insisted that Bilal died of custodial torture.
Former human rights minister Shireen Mazari accused Naqvi of violating constitutional rights and warned that the nation would hold him accountable for incidents such as the murder of Zille Shah.
In a separate tweet, Mazari shared a video clip of Naqvi discussing the government’s plan for arrests and called him a criminal.
PTI leader Hammad Azhar cited the postmortem report and the case registered by the police against Imran Khan and his allies for murder allegations as evidence against Naqvi’s claims. He referred to Naqvi’s sequence of events as an attempt at a third cover-up.
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