Autopsy report released on CTD’s ‘encounter’ in Sahiwal

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LAHORE: A post-mortem examination of four people killed by a team of Counter-Terrorism Department in Sahiwal yesterday has been official released.

The victims – Khalil, his wife Nabeela, daughter Areeba and Khalil’s friend Zeeshan, , were targeted on way to Burewala by the CTD personnel near Toll Plaza in Sahiwal.

The CTD claims that the driver of the car was a terrorist who was using family to transfer weapons and explosives to Multan. Relatives of the deceased family have rejected the police claim saying the the deceased were going to Burewala to attend a wedding.

According to the postmortem report, the victims received bullet injuries in their heads, necks and stomach areas. Khalil was shot 13 times, his wife Nabeela Bibi took four bullets while teenage Areeba received four bullets. Zeeshan, the car driver, died of multiple bullet wounds. 

The alleged encounter took place on GT Road in Qadirabad area near Sahiwal.

According to CTD, the operation was conducted on information about the presence of suspected terrorists, provided by the department and an intelligence agency — the name of which was not specified.

According to the details provided by police, the CTD Sahiwal officials signalled a car and a motorcycle to stop near the Sahiwal Toll Plaza.

“The [alleged] terrorists retaliated by firing at the CTD officials following which a shootout ensued. Once the firing stopped, four people were found dead, reportedly as a result of firing by their own accomplices, while three terrorists had fled the scene,” read the CTD statement.

As per the CTD statement, suspects identified as Shahid Jabbar and Abdul Rehman were travelling towards Sahiwal and were reportedly in possession of arms and explosives.

“They used to travel with families to avoid police checking. Today, they were warned to surrender but they resorted to firing,” read the statement, adding that Shahid Jabbar, Abdul Rehman, and another unidentified suspect fled from the scene on a motorcycle. “Recoveries include suicide jackets, hand grenades, rifles, etc.”

The details of the incident as narrated by the children in the car and eyewitnesses contradict the CTD’s version of what happened.

The injured boy Umair, who appears to be around 10-years-old and can be seen with a gunshot wound in his leg, while speaking to the media identified the deceased as his parents, teenage sister and his father’s “friend” who was driving the car to Burewala.

The deceased include grocery store owner Mohammad Khalil, 42, his wife Nabila, 38, their 13-year-old daughter Areeba and their friend, Zeeshan Javed, who was driving the car and police said he was on the country’s wanted terrorist list.

Khalil is survived by his wounded son Umair and two daughters aged below five years.

Later in the day, family members of the victims and area residents resorted to protesting and blocked Ferozpur road in Lahore.

Prime Minister Imran Khan contacted Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar and sought a report in connection with the Sahiwal incident.

The prime minister also directed to hold a transparent and detailed inquiry into the incident to uncover the facts.

Later in the day, Buzdar ordered the arrest of the CTD officials involved in the tragic incident. The chief minister also went to Sahiwal to visit the injured children. Talking to family members of the victims, the chief minister promised that a transparent inquiry would be conducted into the killing.