RAWALPINDI - A team of Police Station Kotli Sattian allegedly tortured a watchman at Saanth Anwali Bazaar apparently for throwing torchlight over them to ascertain their identity, sparking a protest by residents of the area, sources said on Tuesday.

The victim watchman was identified as Noor Shan, they said.

The protestors led by Shikam Jaan (the mother of victim watchman) blocked Kotli Sattian-Kashmir Road by placing heavy stones and chanted slogans against the police.

According to sources, Noor Shan was taking a round of Santh Anwali Bazaar last night and checking the locks of shops when he spotted a vehicle stopping at some distance from the market. The watchman threw light of torch on the vehicle in a bid to identify the riders when 4-5 policemen pounced upon him, they said. The cops placed Noor under severe torture, they said.

The incident sparked a protest as scores of the villagers and parents of the victim watchman poured on the road and blocked it for traffic besides staging a protest demonstration against the police brutality. They chanted slogans against SHO Kotli Sattian and other officials and stressed City Police Officer (CPO) Capt (R) Faisal Rana to initiate departmental action against the cops involved in the crime.

The protest on Kotli Sattian-Kashmir Road triggered a massive traffic jam causing severe problems for commuters.

“My son is innocent and it was his duty to check as who were the people coming to the bazaar late night but he was beaten because of dispensing his duty,” said the mother of watchman. She said that her son sustained injuries due to inhuman torture by policemen. She said that she would not spare the accused and would approach the CPO for legal action against them.

Other protesters also condemned torture on the watchman and asked CPO to take notice of the issue.

Meanwhile, police along with personnel of other law enforcement agencies carried out a combing operation in different areas of the city in order to flush out the suspects and outlaws. A search operation was conducted in areas of Garibabad and Raza Plaza during which police checked 110 houses and collected data of 245 persons. However, no arrest was made.