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Search Underway for Culprits in Killing of PTI Worker

Police inquiry focusing on locating men who had brought Ali Bilal to hospital before fleeing the scene

by Staff Report

File photo of slain PTI worker Ali Bilal

A two-member inquiry committee of the Punjab Police on Thursday continued its investigation into the killing of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) worker Ali Bilal, focusing on locating the two men who had brought his body to Services Hospital before fleeing the scene.

The committee visited the hospital on Thursday afternoon to review the CCTV footage of the two suspects, and also questioned hospital staff who had tended to Bilal and spoken with one of the men when they dropped off the PTI worker. According to the CCTV footage, which has been provided to media, Bilal was brought to the hospital in a black vehicle by two men. One of them accompanied the slain worker into the emergency department but fled as soon as the PTI worker was pronounced dead on arrival. The vehicle’s details are visible in the footage, with police saying they would utilize them in a bid to locate the suspects.

The police’s claims of having no role in Bilal’s killing, meanwhile, have suffered a major dent with his postmortem report, which indicates that he was subjected to “massive blunt trauma” that usually signifies custodial torture. Citing a fracture to his skull that led to cranial bleeding as the cause of his death, the report said he had also suffered injuries to his liver, spleen and testes and was covered with blood when his body was received at hospital.

Following the release of the postmortem, both the PTI and independent observers have questioned the impartiality of any investigation that could implicate police being conducted by its officials. Despite calls for the Supreme Court to intervene, however, there has thus far been no move to form an independent body to probe the matter. Questions have also arisen over the police’s claim of Bilal not being arrested on Wednesday, with a journalist maintaining that he had interviewed the PTI worker from inside a police van hours before he was found dead at hospital.

The slain PTI worker was laid to rest on Thursday, with the party also offering funeral prayers in absentia in various cities and towns nationwide on the direction of party chief Imran Khan. His father, Liaqat Ali, has filed an application with Race Course Police to lodge a murder case, nominating Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, Punjab caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi, Inspector General of Police Usman Anwar, Lahore Capital City Police Officer Bilal Siddique Kamyana and two inspectors, as well as 40 police personnel as the people responsible for the alleged murder of Bilal.

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