Model Town Tragedy : JIT gives clean chits to Shahbaz, Rana Sanaullah
The Joint Investigation Team constituted to probe the Model Town tragedy has exonerated Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, former law minister Rana Sanaullah and former Operations DIG Rana Abdul Jabbar from allegations levelled at them in an FIR. The JIT has declared 10 police officials including former Security SP Salman Ali guilty.
The JIT has furnished its report to the competent authority for further action. Challan against the 10 cops will be submitted to court for trial. The JIT has separately challaned 42 activists of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek on the charges of firing at policemen, pelting stones, throwing petrol bombs and damaging APCs.
The JIT, headed by Quetta CCPO DIG Abdul Razzaq Cheema and its members Lt Col Ahmad Bilal of the ISI, SSP Shahzad Akbar, IB Director Muhammad Ali and CIA DSP Khalid Abubakar, started formal probe into the tragedy on November 19, 2014. The JIT started its probe on the FIR No 696/14 registered on the complaint of Director Administration, Minhajul Quran, Jawad Hamid on August 28, 2014.
According to the report prepared by the JIT, a copy of which is available with The News, the investigators collected the duty chart of all police officials to ascertain their locations. They took weapons and logbooks of all police officials for forensic examination to determine their involvement in firing. The JIT retrieved phone calls data and took cell phones and CDRs into custody to establish the contact of the officers with their commanders and political bigwigs.
The investigation team also examined the footages of electronic media and still photographs besides recording statements of reporters and cameramen. The investigators recorded statements of doctors who had prepared medico-legal reports and conducted autopsies of victim policemen and PAT activists.
During extensive sessions and meetings at the Police Club, CCPO Cheema included Rescue 1122 DG Dr Rizwan Naseer in the investigation, recorded his statements and took all record of the emergency service into custody.
Though the PAT had refused to accept the JIT members, the team sent notices to the complainant of the FIR and eyewitnesses, but nobody turned up. The team recorded statements of all participants of the meeting which had been convened by the district government to remove encroachments. The JIT recorded statements of the Punjab chief minister and the former law minister during investigations.
After cross-examining all statements and forensic evidence, the JIT reached to the conclusion that the clash between police and PAT activists had turned worse and both parties had resorted to firing and pelting stones that resulted into the loss of lives and properties.
The JIT has observed that the rumour about the kidnapping of two policemen by PAT members had promoted SP Salman Ali and, on his orders, other policemen to resort to firing. The firing by the SP and other cops was proved through footages. So the JIT challaned 10 policemen including the SP.
In its observation, the JIT has mentioned that the accused persons linked to the federal government had no link to the law and order of a province and there was no evidence against them.
About allegations against the CM, former law minister and Operations DIG, the JIT has reached to the conclusion that the allegations were not true in any case. The JIT said the Operations DIG was not present at the scene. It states that the DIG reached the scene at 9:30am next morning. TMA officials, cops and officials of district government also rebutted receiving any orders other than the removal of encroachments. Keeping in view all these evidence and statements, the JIT has unanimously opined that the allegations against Mian Shahbaz Sharif and Rana Sanaullah were without any evidence and their abetment in the crime was also not proved.
Meanwhile, Rana Sanaullah has said the JIT conducted a thorough probe into the Model Town incident. He thanked Allah Almighty, saying that truth prevailed and facts and reality triumphed. He said the JIT conducted the inquiry in four months and submitted its impartial report before the court. He said: “We personally appeared before the JIT to record our statements.” He said the JIT had submitted its report and now it could not be denied.