A five-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed to investigate the Sahiwal incident on Tuesday recorded the accounts of various eyewitnesses, who claimed that police had fired the first bullet and the individuals who were killed in the incident had not seemed to cause any trouble.
A day prior, the JIT team had also visited the scene of the incident, collected evidence and recorded eyewitness accounts.
In what law enforcers had initially described as an encounter with terrorists, an elite division of the Punjab police had on Saturday killed four people: parents Khalil and Nabeela, their teenage daughter, and their neighbour Zeeshan.
The killings sent a shock wave across the country as one of the three surviving children who were witness to the episode denied the official version in a video that went viral on social media.
The Punjab government had constituted a JIT under the supervision of Additional Inspector General (AIG) Ijaz Hussain Shah to investigate the incident.
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar had said the JIT would submit its preliminary report by Tuesday (today).
According to one eyewitness account, police started firing from the car as a result of which the children’s mother was struck, following which she fell onto the children. The police then removed the children from the car and started firing again.
While speaking to reporters on Tuesday, AIG Shah said that the report that will be presented today cannot be considered a final report. He said that a comprehensive report on a tragedy of this nature cannot be completed in two or three days.
According to the AIG, six personnel of the CTD have been taken into custody and are being questioned. He added that the JIT team had recorded the statements of five eyewitnesses.
Khalil, a resident of Kot Lakhpat, Lahore, his wife Nabeela, their 13-year-old daughter, and their neighbour, Zeeshan, were on their way to a wedding in Burewala when they were killed in firing on their car near the toll plaza on GT Road in the Qadirabad area.
Three children in the car survived. Khalil and Nabeela’s minor son sustained a bullet injury while their two other daughters remained unhurt.
According to an initial medical examination, Khalil sustained 13 bullet wounds in his chest and head, his wife Nabeela sustained four, Zeeshan was found to have 10 bullet injuries; and Areeba, six bullets, hospital sources told DawnNewsTV.
CTD officials said those killed in the shooting were terrorists belonging to the proscribed Daesh (ISIS) militant organisation. The CTD spokesperson identified one of them, Zeeshan, as an active member of the banned outfit, explaining that the terrorists used to travel with families to avoid police checking.
The CTD Sahiwal team was conducting a joint Intelligence-Based Operation on the basis of information from the CTD and a sensitive agency, the spokesperson said, adding that they had to retaliate when they came under fire from those in the car.
As the news flashed on TV screens, scores of relatives of the deceased family took to the streets, blocking traffic on the Lahore-Kasur road to protest the murder.
To ascertain facts, the prime minister ordered an immediate inquiry into the matter.
Later on Saturday evening, Chief Minister Buzdar directed Inspector General of Punjab Police Amjad Javed Saleemi to ensure arrest of all the personnel involved in the killing of the four persons.