Lawyers' group issues damning report on staged encounters, custodial torture.

HYDERABAD -- A lawyers' group has issued a damning fact finding report on Hyderabad police's role in a recent 'staged' encounter in which a suspect was gunned down following murder of a young girl, and custodial torture of ailing brother of an alleged pickpocket, who died shortly after release.

Speaking at a joint news conference at the local press club here on Thursday, Ali Ahmed Palh advocate, Inderjeet, Sooba Bhatti, Baghi Soomro and others of the Sindh Human Rights Defenders Network (SHRDN) said their findings revealed an 'illegal economy is being run in the area of Phulelli police station where policemen are grooming juvenile offenders,' and using them for their own motives.

They said that those juvenile offenders were trained in pick pocketing and minor offenses, and then used as informers to lay hands on others.

Sharing details of the death of Danish Sheikh, brother of an alleged pickpocket, Danyal Shaikh, Barrister Ali Palh said he was picked up on Oct 21 from his house by Bhitai Nagar police station as proxy for Danyal in Juryal Shah locality in Tando Mir Mehmood.

Likewise, one Saud was picked up in lieu of his brother Noman. Two suspects, Abid and Sherry were also detained. Their illegal detention by police was well established.

He said that one Noman got Saud and Danish released for Rs50,000 and Rs45,000, respectively. 'Rs50,000 were arranged by Saud's wife Ms Sana and Danish's family paid Rs45,000 to Noman. Noman demanded another Rs30,000 from Danish's family. 'Noman is running a dhanda and there are many Nomans in Hyderabad who are busy in this trade,' he claimed.

Ali said notables belonging to Talpur and Bhurgari families told his group that 'an illegal economy is being run by police by Phulelli police' adding that other residents also came down hard on police.

Palh said: 'Juvenile offenders are groomed by police and later used to get raids conducted on the houses of suspects on right or wrong information'.

'We have learnt that the business is thriving,' he said and maintained that one Deen Mohammad Leghari, known as Mama, was patronising that all dirty business and handled everything. He said that some notables named Mama directly.

Reverting to Danish's case, he said that the man was a tuberculosis patient and was let off on Oct 23 after having been subjected to torture in police custody.

He (Danish) filed a complaint before the DIG Police of Hyderabad Range, but to no avail. 'When his family took him to the Hyderabad SSP's...

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