The recent incident at a police checkpost near Khanpur Dam in Taxila has shocked the entire community. A young student, Muhammad Aneeb Hussain, the son of an old friend, who was riding a bike, was stopped by the police. He was subjected to such severe humiliation that he lost consciousness and subsequently died.
Police claim that the boy died of heart attack. If true, what was the cause of the heart attack? Was it not the police action? Even if heart attack was the cause, it is obvious that the physical and mental pressure exerted by the police on the student was the only cause because he had been in perfect health earlier and had no history of any cardiac issues.
The bereaved family is understandably devastated by the tragedy. Losing a loved one in such a violent manner is an unbearable pain for the parents, who are now seeking justice for their son’s death.
The only charge against the boy was that he was over-speeding. There is a way to handle such a situation, and harsh life-taking treatment is simply unwarranted. There is never an excuse for the police to use such excessive force and intimidation to handle any situation, no matter how serious the offence may be.
Police have a duty to uphold the law while respecting the rights and dignity of the citizens. It is important to note that over-speeding is a traffic violation and not a criminal offence that warrants such extreme measures from the police. The officials present on the spot could have simply issued a ticket or a warning, and the student should have been allowed to continue his journey without any further harassment.
It is crucial that the police are trained to handle such situations in a manner that is non-threatening and non-violent. Using excessive force and intimidation can have serious consequences and can even be fatal, as was unfortunately the case in the incident narrated above.
The pain of losing a loved one cannot be imagined. Losing a son, or a brother, is an irreplaceable loss. The boy himself is no longer here to seek justice or answer these questions, and no one can bring him back or restore his father’s lost arm. But there are ways to seek justice and accountability of those involved in the incident.
The responsibility lies with the relevant authorities, including the police, the government and the justice system, to conduct a fair and thorough investigation into the incident, and to hold those responsible accountable for their actions. It is also essential to have a larger conversation about police reforms and accountability to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.
Civil society and the community must continue to demand justice for the affected family and every victim of police brutality. Such incidents cannot be ignored and the authorities must take immediate and appropriate action against all the policemen involved in the said incident. By raising awareness and advocating for justice, members of civil society can help prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.
JAMIL AHMAD SAQI