ISLAMABAD, Jan 02 (APP): Five anti-terrorist squad personnel were arrested and a judicial inquiry ordered into the alleged killing of a 22-year old in the federal capital by the police in an “encounter,” following a strong public backlash.
Usama Nadeem Satti, a resident of G-13 Islamabad, was allegedly shot dead by personnel of the Anti-Terrorist Squad in the wee hours, claiming that they were chasing some dacoits.
In a late-night development, the Chief Commissioner Islamabad formed a joint investigation team (JIT) for an inquiry into the Usama Satti murder case. Superintendent Police (SP), Sadr Muhamad Sarfraz Virk would lead the team comprising members from Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Military Intelligence (MI), and Intelligence Bureau (IB). The committee has been directed to submit its report at the earliest.
Usama’s father however rejected the police version of an encounter and said it was a premeditated murder, as was later endorsed by the post mortem report. He said his son was returning home, after dropping his friend at a university hostel, when the mishap happened.
The Islamabad Police claimed that they received a call at around 01:30 am about a robbery incident in Sector H-13 in the jurisdiction of Shams Colony Police Station and that the robbers had reportedly fled in a car.
According to the police, the ATS personnel patrolling the area on suspicion chased a vehicle with tinted glasses on Srinagar Highway.
“As the vehicle driver did not heed to the calls of ATS personnel to stop, the latter had to fire shots at the tires. Unfortunately, some bullets went astray and hit the boy driving the car, who died on the spot,” the police claimed.
The FIR registered by the father of the deceased gave a totally different account. He said, the lad had an altercation with the police personnel a night before and they had threatened him with dire consequences.
Chief Commissioner Islamabad Amer Ali Ahmed Saturday ordered a judicial inquiry and directed Additional District Magistrate Rana Muhammad Waqas Anwar to probe the incident and submit a detailed report within five days. Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Islamabad Muhammad Aamir Zulfiqar Khan also formed a team to probe the incident.
The IG said five policemen Mudassar Mukhtar, Shakeel Ahmed, Saeed Ahmed, Muhammad Mustafa, and Iftekhar had been arrested after they were named in a first information report (FIR) lodged at Ramna Police Station.
Islamabad Police said the team led by Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Waqar-Ud-Din Syed, comprising superintendents of police CTD, Investigation, and Saddar was directed to investigate the incident from every aspect, a police spokesman said.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said he was shocked to know about the incident and had directed immediate arrest of those responsible and registering of FIR under section 302, 148 and 149, and 7ATA. He said no leniency would be shown towards the culprits and justice would be done.
As per details, the white Suzuki Alto was hit with 22 bullets. The imported Japanese model comes with original tinted windows and all the vehicles get registered with the Islamabad Excise and Taxation Department.
However, contrary to the claims of the police the post mortem report said Usama Nadeem was hit with six bullets, all from the rear, while he was also subjected to torture before he breathed his last.
“All injuries were anti-mortem in nature and sufficient to cause death”
“All injuries were anti-mortem [injuries received before death] in nature and sufficient to cause death in ordinary course of nature,” the report said.
According to his lawyer, it was a “damning report” that proved that Usama was murdered and it was not an accident.
#Salahuddin‘s lawyer Usama Khawar on findings of the post mortem report which confirm torture including possible electric shock. Shame on all those who kept referring to a fictitious post mortem report which only existed in the imagination of govt & police to cover their failure pic.twitter.com/bPtaYYxX3k
— M. Jibran Nasir (@MJibranNasir) September 17, 2019
The incident immediately sent shock waves across the country, triggering a strong public reaction and #JusticeForUsamaNadeemSatti was the top trend on social media, with his friends and family sharing his pictures when he enthusiastically participated in the PTI rallies for Imran Khan.
Furious family, friends, and citizens blocked the Srinagar Highway for hours as the administration initially remained reluctant to go for a judicial probe. Only after the announcement of a probe, the protestors cleared the road. The people in general strongly reacted to the poor selection, training, and professionalism of the police personnel.
Killing of Usama Nadeem on Srinagar Highway in Islamabad. Trigger happy anti terrorist squads need better training. It’s the precision and not the volume of fire. They could have stopped the car by bursting tyres. #IslamabadPolice #Pakistan #PrimeMinisterImrankhan
— Lt Gen M Haroon Aslam, (Retd) (@AVeteran1956) January 2, 2021
Minister for Human Rights in a late-night tweet termed it a “Shocking tragedy.”
“Such a murderous action by police is unacceptable under any circumstance. Police guilty of this murder have been arrested but an innocent, unarmed youth lost his life. Citizens need 2 feel protected by, not fearful of, police. Disturbing.”
Shocking tragedy. Such a murderous action by police is unacceptable under any circumstance. Police guilty of this murder have been arrested but an innocent, unarmed youth lost his life. Citizens need 2 feel protected by, not fearful of, police. Disturbinghttps://t.co/CFhVBDfaXj
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) January 2, 2021
Report by Shafek Koreshe