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SC sets up committee to probe Amal’s death in police encounter

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday constituted a committee to probe the death of a 10-year-old girl, Amal, in an encounter between the police personnel and robbers in Karachi.

Headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, a bench of the apex court took up a suo motu case with regard to the killing of the girl allegedly by police fire.

The chief justice remarked that the court will get the incident investigated by the FIA or Intelligence Bureau (IB). “We constitute a committee to investigate the incident,” he said and directed the Attorney General (AG) to appoint its head in consultation with its members.

The court directed the owner of a private hospital, National Medical Centre, where the child was taken after being hit by a bullet, to appear in court to explain his position.

Amal’s parents appeared before the bench and expressed gratitude to the top judge for taking cognizance of the matter.

The deceased’s mother lamented that her daughter died after being denied timely treatment. The hospital lacked facilities, including an ambulance, she complained.

The police informed that CCTV footage of the incident shows the policeman resorting to aerial firing.

At this, the CJP said apparently, the policeman used a sub-machine gun to fire an entire burst. “Such heavy weapons shouldn’t be given to curb street crime,” he observed, adding an untrained policeman was given the SMG rifle.

Amal’s mother said the policemen themselves conceded that they haven’t been trained.

A police official admitted before the judges that the police exhibited negligence, adding that the bullet fired by the policeman first hit the robber.

Principles have to be laid down to tackle these incidents, the CJP said.

A lawyer informed that the National Medical Central was a large hospital, yet it lacked an ambulance.

The hearing of the case was adjourned for two days.

The Case Background

Amal along with her parents was on way, when she was hit by a bullet in her head while the robbers were robbing a car next to them.

They rushed to the nearest hospital (National Medical Centre – NMC). The hospital gave oxygen to the injured girl by an Ambubag pumping manually. The doctor told them to take her to either another hospital. The NMC neither provided them emergency medical aid, nor ambulance and even refused to give the Ambubag to help the injured reaching another hospital.

The family arranged another ambulance, however, Amal died on the way to the other hospital.

On August 13, a police party which was on patrol in Akhtar Colony area of Defence was informed by a couple of families that at least two armed men in a rickshaw were intercepting passersby and snatching their valuables at gunpoint.

“After some efforts, the police spotted two of the bandits [in Akhtar Colony]. As our mobile van approached them, one of them fired shots at us and the situation sparked an exchange of gunfire,” a police official told the media while adding that one of the bandits was killed and the other ran away.

However, when the guns fell silent after a few minutes, the girl — who was passing by the area in a car along with her family — was also found hit by a bullet.

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