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The Bahawalnagar Incident: A Closer Look at the Confrontation

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The Punjab government recently established a five-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to delve into the Bahawalnagar incident, aiming for a thorough examination of events that unfolded on April 8, 9, and 10. This move comes in response to the alleged confrontation between police and army personnel following the arrest of an army official, which garnered significant attention on social media during the Eid holidays.

The JIT, led by the Punjab Home Department special secretary, includes members such as the Bahawalpur Division commissioner, Special Branch Punjab DIG, and representatives from the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB). Their investigation will focus on a police raid at the residence of Rana Muhammad Anwar and the subsequent occurrences.

In light of the incident, four Madressah police officials, including the SHO, have been apprehended on charges of illegal detention, dereliction of duty, and misuse of authority. Additionally, the Maroot police SHO has been suspended for allegedly spreading misinformation on social media, prompting a departmental inquiry.

The sequence of events began with the arrest of Mohammad Khalil, Mohammad Idrees, and their father Mohammad Anwar, who were implicated in an FIR filed on April 8. Instead of presenting the detainees before a magistrate, the accused officers unlawfully detained them for over 24 hours. This action led to a series of events where Anwar’s sons allegedly took two policemen hostage, resulting in a video circulated on social media.

Subsequently, the police intervened, freed the detained officers, and arrested Anwar and his sons. However, during the arrests, the family members were reportedly subjected to severe mistreatment, and their residence was vandalized, as depicted in another video shared online.

Following an inquiry, the Bahawalnagar DPO initiated legal action against the involved officers, leading to their arrest by the A Division police. The situation escalated when a group of army personnel reportedly assaulted the detained policemen at the A Division police station.

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