No “encounters” in Lahore after Shahbaz’s ouster

March 28th, 2009 - 6:20 pm ICT by ANI  

Lahore, Mar. 28 (ANI): After the disqualification of former Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on February 25, no encounter has taken place in Lahore, while 16 alleged criminals had been killed in the first 56 days of 2009.

According to The News sources, policemen were hesitating to become proactive and conduct encounters after the ouster of the Shahbaz government due to large-scale criticism by the civil society and non-governmental organizations.

During Shahbaz Sharif’s regime, human rights organizations activists expressed doubts over the credibility of the widespread shootouts in the cases of murders, fornication, illegal collection of tax and robberies, the Daily Times reports.

The former chief minister was himself accused of ordering encounters in the Sabzazar case, while he was later cleared of all charges by the court.

Just before the disqualification of Shahbaz, police encounters took place in Defence, Iqbal Town, Garhi Shahu, Shafiqabad and Raiwind.

Last year, 67 accused were killed in 50 encounters.

Claiming that encounters took place whenever Shahbaz came into power, legal expert Khuram Latif Khosa said the deaths of accused in fake police encounters were not only in violation of the Constitution of Pakistan, but also in violation of the Islamic Laws and the Human Rights Charter.

Women’s Action Forum (WAF) representative Gulnar Tabbasum seconded him: “A sense of insecurity among the general public arises in the society due to encounters. No government should encourage this tradition, as it is not in favour of the country.”

A senior police official seeking anonymity said encounters in the city did not eliminate crime, as the crime ratio was the same, and the practice of encounters was not yielding any good results. (ANI)

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