LAHORE - Police allegedly tortured to death another man in custody on Tuesday. The body of 28-year-old Amir Masih sent for autopsy. Amir’s brother Sunny Masih alleged police demanded bribe and refusal resulted in the killing.

This latest death in police custody comes barely days after police allegedly killed a suspect during interrogation at a private torture cell in Gujjarpura. According to relatives of the victim, Amir Masih reached the North Cantonment police station after he was asked on phone to appear before an investigation officer. The police later shifted the suspect to a private torture cell where he was tortured to death. Following the death, the policemen shifted the deceased to a hospital on a private vehicle and disappeared immediately.  Sunny Masih, brother of the deceased Amir Masih, said that a police team kept his brother in illegal detention center where he was brutally tortured for three days. The deceased had no criminal history. Police sources say he was called by police after a local man filed an application against him.

CM Usman Buzdar and IGP Arif Nawaz took notice of the death and sought reports

“An FIR has been registered on the complaint of brother of the deceased Amir Masih,” a spokesman said. “In-charge investigation of the same police station Inspector Nasir Baig, Sub Inspector Zeeshan and four constables are nominated as accused.” The SHO has also been detained for negligence and violation of code of conduct.

Four policemen booked on murder charges

Reportedly, seven suspects died in police custody during the last eight months.

Last week, at least five suspects were found chained inside a building surrounded by thick forest and bushes in Gujjarpura. A few policemen deployed at the illegal torture centre disappeared as locals along with media raided the house. Recently, IGP ordered installations of CCTV cameras inside the lockups.

According to investigations conducted by The Nation, more than 100 private torture cells are operating under the nose of top cops in the Punjab Capital, where the police detain accused illegally on the pretext of interrogation for many days to avoid legal complications.

These private torture cells also help police escape the raids of court bailiffs in cases of illegal custody. The recent disclosure of private torture cell established in connivance with the senior police officers are more than an eye-opener for those sitting at the helm of affairs in the Punjab hierarchy.

The police officials routinely establish such torture cells at private places including guesthouses, Deras of local influential people and sometime at rented apartments.