Secret 'torture cells' of Pakistan police

Lahore: Secret "torte cells" being run by the police at several places in Pakistan has forced the provincial police chiefs to issue policy guidelines with strict directions not to torture suspects, a media report said

Despite the instructions, secret torture cells continue to operate at several places in Pakistan, Dawn news said in its report on Tuesday.

In Lahore, one such torture cell operated allegedly by the Gujjarpura Station House Officer (SHO) Muhammad Raza Jafri along with three constables was unearthed in the provincial capital on Monday.

Two handcuffed and four other men were recovered from the cell set up at a local office of the Forest Department. The cell was unearthed by officials of the anti-corruption department, who were in the field for investigation of a case, an official told Dawn.

He said during their investigation, the anti-corruption officials heard cries, traced them to a building located right in the middle of a jungle and filmed whatever they saw.

They found six locked men, including one who was bedridden and in serious condition apparently due to third-degree torture by the suspected policemen.

In the footage recorded on a mobile phone, the man is seen telling the officials that his backbone and hips were severely fractured and that he could not even move on the bed provided to him by the forest department employees on his repeated requests.

The tales of other captives were no different, Dawn news said. Another man who ran a small make-up and jewellery shop, said the policemen picked him up, brought him to the cell and was tortured.

An elderly man said he was also unaware of any charges or cases lodged against him. Most captives said the police officials would come over in the night to torture them only.

"I'm shocked to find out the torture cell run by the SHO and the other policemen despite clear standing instructions," said a Senior Superintendent of Police.

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