Punjab court orders police to halt civilian slayings, cover-ups

Pakistan Forward

LAHORE -- The Lahore High Court (LHC) Thursday (January 24) ordered Punjab Inspector General of Police Amjad Saleemi to prevent more incidents like the police slaying of civilians and attempted cover-up in Sahiwal last week, Dawn reported.

Punjab Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) officers January 19 opened fire on a car in Sahiwal southwest of Lahore, claiming they killed four terrorists and that three others escaped, the BBC reported.

A nine-year-old boy riding in the car, backed by footage of the shooting, rejected the official account and revealed that his parents, his 12-year-old sister and the family friend who was driving were killed while on their way to a wedding.

He and his two younger sisters, who also survived the shooting, were found abandoned at a petrol station some distance away.

The killings shocked the country.

LHC Chief Justice Sardar Shamim Ahmed Khan on Thursday formed a two-judge bench to hear a petition seeking a judicial inquiry into the Sahiwal encounter.

Khan warned Saleemi that such an incident "should not take place anywhere in Punjab again".

Saleemi told the court that the CTD officers involved in the shooting had been arrested and that a joint investigation team had been formed to probe the incident.

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