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Pakistan army soldiers storm police station, beat up cops

Published:

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan army troops have attacked a

police station

and beaten up cops following a dispute over recovery of an allegedly

illegal weapon

from a member of a soldier’s family in

Bahawalnagar district

of Punjab.
On Wednesday, several videos showing men in army uniform allegedly beating up policemen in Bahawalnagar went viral on social media. It showed bloody faces and marks of torture on the bodies of police officers.
One video showed a man and two army personnel forcing policemen to kneel in a queue.

Another showed a man sitting on the ground with a bloody nose.
Sources said several police officers had raided the family home of an army SSG (Special Service Group) commando named Khalil on April 8, but the policemen were instead taken captive by the soldier and his relatives.

A larger police force was sent to rescue the captured cops. After extricating their colleagues, police arrested the

SSG commando

, his father Anwar Jat, his brothers and his family’s female members for attacking a police party. The soldier and his relatives were allegedly tortured in custody and not produced before a magistrate for police remand.
Reacting to the arrest and torture of the soldier, sources said the concerned military authorities intervened and registered an FIR against several police officers for keeping Khalil, his father and brothers, and other family members in “illegal” custody.

Earlier, soldiers had arrived in seven to eight vehicles at the police station where the soldier and his family were incarcerated. They barged into the station and assaulted policemen with rifle butts and sticks. The station in-charge and his staff were beaten mercilessly, with visible marks left on their bodies, according to the videos.
Deputy commissioner Zulfikar Ahmed Bhoon, district police chief Naseebullah Khan and army officers intervened to bring the situation under control and the matter was hushed up. But the soldiers’ conduct at the police station had already been recorded by social media bloggers.
The footage drew outrage from journalists, politicians and rights activists. PTI leader Hammad Azhar said the Punjab police chief should have resigned immediately and claimed the provincial government was treating the matter as “trivial”.
However, in a statement on X, formerly Twitter, police said the episode was being presented in a way to “imply that there has been fighting going on between the Pakistan army and Punjab police”.
“When the unverified videos went viral, both institutions launched a joint investigation. Officers from both institutions reviewed the facts and peacefully resolved the matter,” the police stated.

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