A local court of Rahim Yar Khan allowed on Monday exhumation of the body of an ATM robber, who died under the custody of police earlier this month.
In a footage that went viral on social media, Salahuddin was seen making strange faces at the camera while robbing an ATM in Faisalabad last month. He was arrested for a robbery in Rahim Yar Khan around two weeks ago.
A day after being arrested, the police announced that he had died in their custody. However, Salahuddin’s father, Mohammad Afzaal, claimed his son was brutally tortured.
The law enforcers did not initially make his post-mortem report public. However, the autopsy report described marks on the deceased’s right hand, right leg and near his right eye upon its release later.
“We have conducted an examination and sent 12 samples from Salahuddin’s body to the forensic lab,” said Dr Ghulam Rabani, medical superintendent of Sheikh Zayed Hospital.
Salahuddin’s father had filed for exhumation of his son’s body for a second post-mortem examination, maintaining that the bruises on his son’s body were not identified in the autopsy report.
The court of Rahim Yar Khan special magistrate conducted hearing of the case on Monday, during which Judge Malik Mohammad Rafique ordered exhumation of Salahuddin’s body for second post-mortem.
A provincial medical board would conduct the second post-mortem after the exhumation of Salahuddin’s body.
A judicial inquiry into the case formally commenced on September 7 after a court recorded statements of the Sheikh Zayed Hospital medical superintendent, the bank’s employees and police officials nominated in the FIR.
The Punjab inspector general removed on September 5 the Rahim Yar Khan district police officer. A day earlier, DSP Abbas Akhtar was suspended for “misconduct/inefficiency”.
Salahuddin’s father had lodged a case against three police officials over his son’s custodial death. The FIR was registered under sections 302 (punishment for murder) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
The suspects included City A-Division’s SHO Mehmoodul Hassan and investigation officers Sub-Inspector Shafaat Ali and Assistant Sub-Inspector Matloob Hussain. Other policemen who were on duty when Salahuddin died were also named.
“I bathed his body with my own hands and saw his bruises with my own eyes,” Afzaal said on SAMAA TV show ‘Awaz’ on September 4.
He described the marks on Salahuddin’s body and said, “The skin inside his right arm was burnt, either with electrocution or an iron and there were big wounds on his left arm, which had been stitched up.
“One of his eyes was black and swollen, his hands and fingers were discoloured, like they had been tied with ropes,” Afzaal said.
The Punjab police once again came under fire for their heavy-handed dealing of arrested suspects after the case surfaced.