by Raza Rumi
Shahnawaz Khan from the Daily Times reports on the cases of Police torture – only the ones that were reported. Now, this is alarming. Imagine how many go unreported? Its time Punjab Puls would start implementing the accountability provisions within the new Police Order! “One hundred and seventy-seven incidents of police torture have taken place in the city during the past six months, more than in any other city of Pakistan, according to data compiled by a non-governmental organisation (NGO) Madadgaar. The information showed that the Punjab Police led the list with 406 cases of torture, followed by Sindh with 304 cases, the NWFP with 29 and Balochistan with four cases. It showed that out of a total of 743 cases, 416 incidents took place at police stations, 252 at victims’ workplaces, 66 at victims’ residences and nine in public places. Among the leading cities of Punjab, Gujranwala exhibited the least amount of police torture with only 10 incidents. “The trend of less reporting in Balochistan and the NWFP does not mean that there is less violence in these areas. The reason behind the situation is a very strong tribal and illegal judicial system, which is prevailing in these provinces. Because of the biased customs, victims and their families do not have the courage to come out and report what has actually happened to them,” the report stated. It said that he most common methods of police torture included beating with a baton or whip, making the arrested stand for hours with their arms outstretched, hanging them by the ankles and burning them with cigarettes. “Women are also raped in custody,” it added. The research work showed that the police tortured people to extract confessions, show efficiency in investigation and extort money. It showed that 9,364 cases of police torture had taken place during the last nine-and-a-half years (between January 2000 and June 2008). Around 231 of those cases were reported in 2000; 555 in 2001; 996 in 2002; 838 in 2003; 1,260 in 2004; 1,356 in 2005; 1,662 in 2006; and 1,723 cases in 2007.