Punjab govt requests judicial inquiry into custodial death of Salahuddin Ayubi

The Punjab government has requested a judicial inquiry into the custodial death of Salahuddin Ayubi, a mentally disabled man accused of robbery who died allegedly as a result of police torture earlier this week.

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According to reports, a murder case has also been registered against three police officials, including the Station House Officer who was in charge of Salahuddin Ayubi.

The provincial government is now waiting on a postmortem report of Ayubi to determine the authenticity of the charges against the police officials, and will proceed forward accordingly.

Ayubi was a resident of Gujranwala and mute. He was also mentally-challenged. His body has been handed over to his father for burial, suggest reports on social media.

The father of Salahuddin Ayubi — a suspected and viral ATM robber who died in police custody — alleged on Wednesday that his son was subjected to brutal torture by officials of the City A-Division police station.

Ayubi was arrested in Rahim Yar Khan a month after his video went viral, was suffering from a health condition and was rushed to a hospital when his condition worsened, where he died.

On Monday, a first information report (FIR) was lodged against City A-Division’s Station House Officer Mehmoodul Hassan and investigation officers Sub-Inspector Shafaat Ali and Assistant Sub-Inspector Matloob Hussain on the complaint of Ayubi’s father Mohammad Afzaal, who said that his son was mentally challenged.

Earlier today, Afzaal’s legal representative Usama Khawar Ghuman shared pictures of Ayubi’s body in which multiple bruises can be seen on the deceased’s arms and legs with the media. The lawyer insisted that the bruises were “clear evidence” of torture. The pictures were taken before Ayubi was buried in Kamoke, a city in Gujranwala district, Ghuman said.

The lawyer expressed remorse that the officials nominated in the FIR were still roaming free but said that they would “knock at every door” to get justice. He expressed hope that Ayubi’s case would put an end to the “cruel culture” of police brutality.

Meanwhile, the district police officer of Rahim Yar Khan wrote a memorandum to a sessions judge and requested that a judicial inquiry of the matter be conducted by a magistrate.

Police spokesperson Zeeshan Randhawa, in a statement, urged the public not to “doubt the sincerity of the police” and wait for the report of the judicial inquiry. the officials who were nominated in the FIR had been suspended and added that “if [police] had mala fide intentions, they could have hidden Salahuddin’s body and announced that he had escaped,” he added.

The statement further added, “The police did not cover up [the matter].”

Ayubi was handcuffed when he was recognised by security officials in Rahim Yar Khan on Friday, after the video of him attempting to steal from the ATM and sticking his tongue out at the camera went viral.

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan had also taken notice of the incident.

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