Monday , 18 January 2021

Inquiry report lays bare police narrative in Osama case – Pakistan


• Several police officials removed from posts
• Victim’s family meets PM, satisfied with findings

ISLAMABAD: The judicial inquiry into the killing of 21-year-old Osama Satti in the federal capital found flaws in the police’s account of the incident, saying the unarmed youth was murdered and recommended removal of half a dozen officials from their present posts to prevent them from influencing the investigation.

Following the startling revelations in the report, the police officials, who will be removed on Thursday (today), include three superintendents of police (SPs), a deputy superintendent of police (DSP) and two station house officers (SHOs).

In another development, Nadeem Younis Satti, the victim’s father, met Prime Minister Imran Khan at the PM House.

Talking to Dawn, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Operations Islamabad Waqaruddin Syed said all recommendations of the report would be implemented.

Osama was gunned down in the early hours of Jan 2 by five officials of the capital police’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), which resulted in his death. The same day Chief Commissioner Amer Ali Ahmed ordered a judicial inquiry and the very next day Prime Minister Imran Khan took notice of the incident and directed Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed to submit a report.

On the direction of the prime minister, the interior minister, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari and Chairperson of the Parliamentary Special Committee on Kashmir Shehryar Afridi visited the house of the deceased in G-13.

According to the judicial inquiry report, Osama Satti was driving a 660 CC car while the ATS personnel were travelling in Toyota Hilux 2800 CC vehicle, therefore, it was hard to digest why the squad had to chase Osama for a prolonged period.

The inquiry established that Osama Satti was not killed by one shooter but by atleast four or more from all sides.

Eyewitness Flt Lt Fahim Qureshi had corroborated it in his statement while Forensic Officer Imran acknowledged that the bullets were fired from standing or sitting positions.

“The way Osama Satti was killed, the intensity of the force used and the manner of firing established that the intention was not to neutralise but to kill him. The post-incident handling of the matter showed that the officers at the crime scene tried to destroy evidence, which means that they agreed with the actions of the accused policemen, and therefore supported and abetted the crime,” the report said.

“Osama’s body lay on the road while police vehicles surrounded it to keep the matter hidden from the public. Instead of shifting the body to the hospital, the officials kept it on the road. It appears as if they waited for Osama to die,” it added.

It also revealed that even 15 Police Control gave wrong address to Rescue 1122 ambulance and later asked it to return as nothing had happened. The police control was also compromised and acted in a way that abetted the murder. The family of the deceased was kept uninformed for four hours after his death, the report said.

Another astonishing point the inquiry mentioned was that the postmortem report claimed that no bullet was fired from the front whereas the Pims medical prescription slip signed by the duty officer stated that a bullet had hit the victim from the front. However, the same duty officer later appeared before the inquiry commission and claimed that it was a mistake. The police, meanwhile, did not proceed against the Pims officer.

The report also stated that no picture or video of the crime scene was taken by either the investigation officer or duty officer to preserve evidence.

According to recommendations of the report, SP ATS, SP Investigation, SP I-9, DSP Ramna, SHO Ramna, SHO Karachi Company, duty officer Ramna and other officials should be removed so that they could not influence the investigation.

It also recommended that there was a need to improve internal monitoring mechanism while training and supervision of police should be improved, adding that the police should undergo regular training and psychological counselling sessions.

Another recommendation the report made was that a clear direction must be given to all stakeholders against the use of black-tinted glass and all permits, if issued earlier, must be cancelled.

Posting and transfer of ATS officials must be made only on the recommendations of a board compromising senior officers of operations. The ATS personnel must never be posted or made to collaborate with the regular force or police without the SP’s permission.

An official of the district administration, requesting not to be named, said the report had been sent to the interior ministry and over half a dozen officers would be removed within 24 hours.

DIG Operations Waqaruddin Syed said action would be taken against the officers once the inspector general of police officially received the report.

“However all recommendations of the report will be implemented. We cannot pick and choose in such an important and sensitive issue,” he said.

Osama’s family meets PM

Nadeem Younis Satti, father of the slain Osama Satti, met Prime Minister Imran Khan and later expressed his optimism that the killers of his son would be brought to justice.

“Today, our meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan remained very positive as he assured us his full support. The progress so far made in the case is also satisfactory,” Nadeem Satti told Dawn.

During the meeting, the premier prayed for the youth and termed the incident tragic and brutal.

Mr Satti said during the meeting, which lasted for almost 30 minutes, an official read out the judicial inquiry report, in which it was revealed that the police fired 22 bullets to kill the unarmed Osama.

“PM Khan said this is cruelty,” the victim’s father quoted the premier as saying.

Nadeem Satti, who runs a printing business, said the prime minister felt as if his own son had been killed by the police, adding that Mr Khan assured him that the inquiry report would be implemented in true spirit.

“Hours after our meeting, we came to know that the police officials/officers involved in the incident were being removed from their positions; this is something encouraging for us,” he told Dawn.

Mr Satti said he did not seek any compensation from the prime minister. “We only want action against those involved in the killing of my innocent son,” he said.

Nadeem Satti was accompanied by his brother, Naveed Satti, and a relative, Hamid Satti, in the meeting.

Talking to Dawn, Naveed Satti said initially they had doubts about police’s intention, but now they believe that the inquiry officer had done a great job and had exposed everyone involved in the heinous crime.

The family also appreciated Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Islamabad’s chief commissioner and his team for their cooperation and completing a comprehensive inquiry on time.

It may be mentioned here that the deputy commissioner had requested the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to name the chowk on Service Road East in G-9 as Osama Satti Shaheed Chowk.

Nadeem Satti said there was no reason why the chowk should not be named after his martyred son.

“We are hopeful the CDA will name the chowk after Osama,” he said.

Meanwhile, sources in the civic authority said naming a road or chowk after an individual required approval of the federal government.

“We will take up the issue with the government,” a CDA officer said.

Published in Dawn, January 14th, 2021

Source Link: Inquiry report lays bare police narrative in Osama case – Pakistan

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