KARACHI: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar took notice of 10-year-old Amal’s death, who was hit by a stray bullet during a police encounter in Karachi’s Akhtar Colony area.
The bullet that hit Amal was from an AK-47 and was fired by a policeman attempting to kill a bandit, who had robbed the 10-year-old’s family a few minutes earlier as they waited at a traffic light to attend a concert on the eve of Independence Day.
After Amal’s parents raised the issue and it came into media highlight, the CJP took suo moto notice, and fixed the matter for hearing on September 25.
Notices have been sent to Advocate General, Secretary Health, and Inspector General of Police in this regard.
A notice has also been sent to Administrator National Medical Centre Karachi, where Amal was initially taken for medical treatment.
Amal’s parents had appeared on local TV channel and narrated their ordeal of the day they lost their daughter.
“We were travelling from Korangi Road towards FTC when a man approached us at the signal and asked us to hand over everything,” Amal’s father, Umer, recalled.
“There was a lot of traffic at the signal at the time. The man took my wife’s phone and bag and then told us to roll up the windows and left,” he continued. “As soon as I started the car, we heard a gunshot and a bullet suddenly hit our windshield.”
Naturally, Umer and his wife, Beenish, turned back to check up on their two daughters sitting in the backseat, who they had asked to lie down when they heard the gunshots.
“When I turned, I saw Amal lying in a pool of blood and my other daughter clutching my seat,” Umer said.
The parents claimed that the staff at the NMC had refused to help them as it was a ‘medico-legal case’ and asked them to take the child to Jinnah Hospital.
The hospital initially did not even help them arrange an ambulance, Beenish said.
After much insistence, someone from the hospital called the Aman Foundation, who refused to send an ambulance till “arrangements were made” at Jinnah Hospital, she further said. “When we asked if we could take the ambu bag along, the NMC staff refused.”
By the time an ambulance reached them and they took their daughter to Jinnah Hospital it was too late. Amal had lost the battle for her life by then, the parents said.
Official at NMC conflicted the parent’s version and claimed that the girl had passed away when she was brought to the hospital.
Mother of the girl, Beenish said, “My daughter was breathing till we were at NMC.”
Aman Ambulance CEO Shazina Masood said that the ambulance service received the first call at 10:32 pm, for a duration of 4.5 minutes and returned the call at 10.42pm and the ambulance reached at 10.52pm.
“We just have 60 ambulances to cater to the city and our average response time is from 12 to 14 minutes,” said CEO Aman ambulance service.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) South Javed Alam Odho, who was also present local TV channel was questioned regarding policemen firing from an AK-47 in a crowded area. “We are aware this wasn’t a routine case,” he said.
“As per the inquiry report, two policemen deployed in the area were informed about a robbery at a close distance following which both of them arrived at the site and took action,” the DIG South said.
Responding to a question regarding a medico-legal case being registered, the officer said, “It is important in case an injury or death occurs. If a medico-legal case is not registered, an investigation cannot take place as we will not have the evidence to present in court.”