Sunday Aug 21, 2022
ISLAMABAD: PTI leader Shahbaz Gill’s arrest and repost about gruesome torture inflicted on him during the Islamabad police custody has further raised political temperatures in the country.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan and the government, however, have made contradictory remarks about the alleged torture on Shahbaz Gill.
The entire episode raises certain questions; was Gill actually tortured or was he staging a drama? And if he was subjected to violence, why didn’t he mention anything during court hearings? Why didn’t any of the four medical reports support any of the claims made by the PTI leaders?
PTI leaders and the coalition government have been trading barbs over the grant of Gill’s physical remand to Islamabad Police and alleged sexual assault. Since being taken into custody, Gill has appeared before the court thrice and has undergone medical tests four times.
However, despite the claims of PTI chief Imran Khan that Gill was being tortured in custody, the imprisoned leader himself has not complained about the alleged “ill-treatment” by authorities during the hearings.
Meanwhile, medical reports supported the claims of the coalition government that Gill was not subjected to any sort of violence in custody.
Gill was taken into custody on Aug 9 from Banigala Chowk and was presented before the magistrate after 24 hours on Aug 10. During this time, Gill did not mention anything about him being tortured.
The court, during the first hearing, had granted two-day physical remand after which Gill’s lawyers had raised concern regarding physical abuse. Following this, the court ordered a medical examination of the PTI leader.
The first medical report, submitted on Aug 11, showed no signs of physical abuse. After the two-day physical remand ended, Gill was presented before the court on Aug 12 and once again the PTI leader did not mention anything about him being tortured. During the same hearing, the court rejected Islamabad Police’s plea regarding an extension in physical remand and ordered the authorities to shift him to Adiala Jail.
Before being shifted to the Adiala jail, Gill was once again medically examined according to the police manual; no physical violence was mentioned in the reports and the accused was received by the jail authorities.
It is a general practice to have a prisoner checked medically before receiving them and if the reports show any signs of torture, the prisoner is returned to the investigation officer.
During this time, Imran Khan claimed that his chief of staff was sexually abused, mentally and physically tortured; following the claims that went viral on social media, the Islamabad deputy commissioner formed a five-member medical board and notified them to conduct another medical examination.
Following the orders of the court, Islamabad Police tried to take Gill for his medical examination twice on Aug 15 and 16; however, the jail authorities refused, citing Gill’s refusal. They stated that Gill was “perfectly fine” and did not want to undergo a medical examination.
The Islamabad High Court then granted the federal police a 48-hour remand after which the officials once again reached the Adiala Jail on Aug 17 to take Gill with them and after a long standoff between the Punjab and Islamabad Police, the jail authorities handed over the PTI leader on a stretcher with an oxygen mask on.
Upon seeing his condition, the Islamabad Police immediately took him to PIMS Hospital where a team of senior doctors checked him. On Aug 18, after viewing all medical reports, Gill was declared “perfectly fit.”
However, the police were also surprised by constant claims of the PTI and videos that showed that Gill was not well.
The police were surprised that Gill was perfectly normal during his court appearance and he was being pushed on a wheelchair at his own request; however, after reaching the court and seeing cameras, he began complaining that the authorities had removed his oxygen mask.
Upon seeing his condition, the court once again ordered the authorities to take Gill to the PIMS hospital. Gill himself went to the hospital along with the police from where his recent pictures and videos were taken and recorded which show that the PTI leader healthy and fit.
Regarding the viral videos of him being tortured, the Islamabad Police claimed that they are all fake.
However, the question remains why didn’t Gill speak about any of those claims made by the PTI leaders and chairperson?