Punjab Chief Minister Syed Mohsin Raza Naqvi on Saturday has said that PTI worker Ali Bilal alias Zille Shah who lost his life during March 8 unrest outside Zaman Park did not die of torture.
Addressing a news conference along with Inspector General of Police (IGP) Punjab Usman Anwar in Lahore, the chief minister threw light on the March 8 violent protest.
The chief minister said the incident of death of any citizen is not an ordinary one and the PTI worker did not die due to violence.
While accusing the PTI leaders of hurling baseless allegations against him, Mohsin Naqvi labelled their accusations as a bundle of lies. “We have nothing to do with politics. You can do politics the way you like but please don’t mislead people or tell lies,” he declared.
A belligerent chief minister categorically stated that the PTI worker’s death was the result of a traffic incident but the party leaders still hurling accusations at him. “It became my duty to respond after they accused me of murder,” he added.
“We have nothing to do with politics. I did not want to talk, but false accusations are being hurled at me,” he rued.
He said that it was a blind murder case. He disclosed that the father of Ali Bilal was offered Rs10 million to bring false evidence against him.
CM Naqvi said resolutely that election in Punjab would be held on April 30 but efforts were being made to disturb the peaceful atmosphere in the province.
IGP Usman Anwar said that action would be taken against those involved in the death of the PTI worker as investigation into the death was under way.
Narrating the incident, the police official said “the body of an innocent man was brought to Services Hospital by a black Vigo at 6:52pm [on Wednesday].”
He said the suspects “clearly looked tense” as seen in CCTV footage.
“They also tried to save the victim at one point and then transport him to the hospital. Then the manner in which the incident was misinterpreted was quite unfortunate,” the senior cop explained.
He said the owner of the vehicle had been identified as Raja Shakeel, who is vice president of the PTI in Central Punjab.
“He had no intention to kill the worker, but this is where the problem started from.”
Dr. Anwar said the conspiracy was foiled by technical teams of the police probing the case. “We got all evidences and details of phone calls made by political leaders to different people.”
The IG insisted that people aboard the car were not criminals as, according to him, they tried to save the man after hitting him. However, false videos and messages were posted on social media to portray police and the administration in a bad light.
The IG police said that Bilal’s father Liaquat Ali filed an application seeking investigation into his son’s death. It was decided that no details would be shared till confirmation of the veracity of the information.
He vowed that police would take action against those involved in Bilal’s murder.
The IG revealed that the police uncovered a false campaign being run on social media. He said that a doppelganger of Zille Shah was being shown on social media and wrong information was being shared on it.
He told the media that Bilal’s death was caused by an accident. The police chief said that if anyone thinks that he would succumb to pressure, then he is wrong.
He said Zille Shah was an innocent man.
He said police were not ordered to torture any worker during the rally.
The car in which Bilal was taken to the hospital was driven by Jahanzeb. Another person, Umar was also sitting in the car. The blood of Bilal was also found in the car, he added.
He said the car was tracked with the help of 31 CCTV cameras from Gulbahar colony basement.
CM Naqvi said that Raja Shakeel who is PTI central Punjab leader shared all details of the incident with Yasmeen Rashid at 8:30pm.
Raja Shakeel went to Zaman Park along with Dr Yasmeen. He stayed outside and Dr Yasmeen went inside Imran Khan’s house.
But Shakeel’s meeting with PTI chief could not be held. Then he (Shakeel) made a call to Zubair Niazi, the CM added.
Mr Naqvi told the presser that if people could listen to the audio, then there would be no need of any forensic.
The chief minister asked the politicians to do politics but don’t tell a lie. He said his family is receiving threatening messages which he said is a sheer injustice. “The entire (PTI) party keeps levelling allegations that Bilal has been murdered. But they know in their hearts that they are lying,” the CM said adding when their names were being called and they were being wished ill by them, they were busy accumulating good wishes and love from the heirs of the martyrs in Kuchha area.
The IG police said that the post mortem report could not tell whether these were torture marks on Bilal’s body or he got injured.
He said a strict action would be taken against those who talked against country and its officials standing on the border in their social media posts.
However, Chief Minster Naqvi said that he left the matter of those who called their names to God. He said Yasmeen Rashid knew very well what happened but still she held a presser along with Imran Khan.
“I appeal to Imran to surely do politics at his will but extract the lying part from his narratives. If I were not chief minister, I would have responded differently. But now we leave it to God,” he added.
Mr Naqvi said the IG will himself visit the victim’s father, adding the Punjab government will also extend financial assistance to the heirs which it usually does.
“They did a great injustice to me and the police administration. This should not have happened,” he maintained.
He also took exception to the PTI for its decision to take out a rally on a day when other public gatherings related to Aurat March and other marches taking place in Lahore.