At the behest of the senior police officer, the Gowalmandi police had registered a case (FIR No 156/12) under section 381/408 of the PPC and implicated three salesmen namely Naeem Ahmed, Imtiaz Ahmed and Haseeb Khalid.
The complainant, Muhammad Arjumand Maqsood, the owner of Mahmood pharmacy located near the Mayo Hospital, alleged the salesmen misappropriated Rs641880 from the pharmacy. According to his claim, the embezzlement came to light during the audit of the pharmacy in which the auditors noticed the shortage of medicines.
One of the accused, Haseeb Khalid told The Nation that the owner had not been paying salaries to the staff and when the salesmen protested against him, Arjumand registered a fake case against them in the Gowalmandi police station on the basis of a tempered stamp paper.
Since the pharmacy owner had close relations with a senior police officer, the policemen at the Gowalmandi police station were bound to implicate the men in the false case.
At the behest of the officer, the police began raiding the residences of the poor workers. Two of the accused nominated in the FIR had to pay Rs200000 to the owner under duress as the investigators had been directed by the officer to continue torture on the accused until and unless they pay the amount.
In the meantime, DIG (Investigations) Chaudhry Shafique and SSP (Investigations) Babar Bakhat Qureshi personally listened to the accused and directed the police to quash the FIR. “As the SSP (Investigations) ordered the policemen to quash the FIR, the senior officer intervened immediately and directed the officers to take punitive action against the accused.
Not enough, three policemen including Inspector Chaudhry Sardar, SI Fayyaz and Head Constable Tahir were transferred from the Gowalmandi police station as they refused to torture on the poor salesmen just to please the friend of the senior officer.
“The police told us that we are innocent. But they are bound to obey orders of senior officers to save their own skins,” Haseeb said.
According to him, the police were conducting raids at their residences and pressing them to pay Rs150000 to the pharmacy owner or face the music.
The poor workers have appealed to Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court and the Chief Minister of the Punjab province to take notice of police brutality and provide them relief.