Lahore (Web Desk): Caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi on Saturday rejected Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) allegations that its worker Ali Bilal was killed in police custody.
The PTI had claimed that party worker Ali Bilal, also known as zille Shah' died in police custody after after personnel launched a crackdown on party workers and supporters protesting near PTI chief Imran Khan's Zaman Park residence.
Addressing a press conference in Lahore along with Inspector General of Police (IGP) Usman Anwar, the interim Punjab CM said that the death was an 'accident case' and 'unfortunately misinterpreted'.
The Punjab CM said that his administration was not involved in the incident and that the PTI should refrain from levelling "baseless allegations".
Naqvi said he would have answered the accusations “in a different manner” had he not been in CM’s position. “It is my responsibility to bear such attacks with restraint but threatening to file a first information report with murder charges totally on the basis of assumptions is too much.”
“I will not surrender. I will prefer going home but will not give in,” the CM added.
He also categorically denied that the police were given any directives to torture workers of a particular party.
Naqvi said the IG would himself visit the victim’s father, adding that the Punjab government would also extend financial assistance to the heirs which it usually does.
“They (the PTI) did a great injustice to me and the police administration. This should not have happened,” the provincial chief executive said.
He noted that it was a blind case and commended Punjab police for their efforts in tracing the suspects.
The caretaker Punjab CM said that elections in the province were approaching near, adding any deterioration in law and order would hamper peace in the province.
Addressing the presser, Punjab Inspector General Dr Usman Anwar also denied PTI's allegations saying that the evidence clearly indicated that this was an accident case.
No accused in this case tried to kill and blame it on the police,” the IG said.
The IGP added that they also tried to save the victim at one point and then transport him to the hospital.
The Punjab IG said the car involved in the accident was traced through 31 CCTV cameras.
PTI worker Ali Bilal's body was brought to Services Hospital in a vehicle at 6:52 pm and the driver of the vehicle was identified as Jahanzeb, the IGP said, adding those arrested in connection with this killing will be presented in court.
Mohammad Jahanzeb Nawaz, a driver at a private company, claimed that he along with his friends were heading to Mall Road from Fortress Stadium when a man struck with their vehicle.
He said that they rushed him to the CMH, but later on they moved him to the Services Hospital where doctors said that the injured man was brought dead.
Jahanzeb said that he informed his employer Raja Shakeel Zaman.
Dr Usman Anwar said that the owner of the vehicle had been identified as Raja Shakeel, who is vice president of the PTI in Central Punjab.
Shakeel, according to the IG Anwar, left for Zaman Park with Rashid leaving behind the car’s driver Jahanzaib, one of the two people arrested by the police.
The video circulating on social media is fake, he claimed.
On the other hand, the post-mortem report shared by the PTI shows that the victim had 26 marks of torture on his body.
The PTI chief then shared a video of Bilal being taken away in a police van claiming that he was killed in police custody.
Earlier, a request was also submitted at Lahore's Race Course Police Station for registering a first information report (FIR) against interim CM Naqvi and Minister of Interior Rana Sanaullah for Bilal's death.
Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Bilal Siddique Kamiyana and Sub-inspector Rehan were mentioned in the application submitted by Bilal's father Liaquat Ali.
Meanwhile, the police also formed a committee comprising Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Elite Force Sadiq Ali and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Imran Kashore to probe Bilal’s death.