ISLAMABAD: The judicial inquiry carried out by additional deputy commissioner Islamabad into the killing of Osama Satti has recommended that officials of the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) should never work with the regular force together without the permission of the police superintendent (SP).
Chief Commissioner Islamabad Aamir Ahmed Ali ordered the judicial inquiry to establish the facts and to take responsibility for the incident in which the 21-year-old was shot down by the ATS Crisis Response Team (CRT) on Srinagar Highway early on 2 January.
On condition of anonymity, officials told Dawn that the Chief Commissioner’s Office submitted the judicial inquiry report to the Ministry of the Interior for perusal and guidance for further action. The investigation report stated that the posting and transfer of ATS officials should only be made on the recommendation of a board consisting of high-ranking police operations officers and a psychologist. To determine their suitability for posting in the field, the board may also evaluate the officials from time to time.
It is also necessary to conduct psychological sessions for counselling and management of action and use of force in all circumstances of the police wing of the ATS and operations. The report also asked for the two wings to be regularly trained.
The investigation officer recorded statements of 29 people, visited the crime scene, examined the chase route, the vehicle of the deceased, wireless call record, Safe City Project footage and 15 police voice records. “The officials involved in the incident were ‘trigger-happy’ and influenced by their ability to use guns without any control,” the officials quoted the report, adding that there was no
The duty officer protected the perpetrators following the incident and concealed the crime, it added.\
An internal monitoring mechanism needs to be strengthened. The incident occurred due to the absence of police SOPs, the report said. In the light of the incident, the IGP office may also issue SPOs and rules of engagement. In addition, to inculcate discipline, training of police officials on security duties may also be conducted.
The report also recommended an audit and review of the police’s internal oversight mechanism.
In the wireless record, significant evidence value was identified. With a computerised time stamp, the wireless control room must be equipped with digital voice recording technology to analyse any crisis to determine the actual enactment of the incident.
An official code of conduct for standardised terminology in wireless communication must be established by the IGP office to help convey the message quickly without sensationalising it. Police monitoring mechanisms are seriously weak.
It was the responsibility of the senior officer to report on site to take control of the scenario. The officers concerned should be called upon and prosecuted for lack of control over the situation.
“The act of targeted firing of an unarmed person resulted in his death, shocked and frightened the general public.” The investigation officer recommended that under the Anti-Terrorism Act the case be tried.
It is necessary to cancel all permits issued for the use of black tinted glasses in vehicles. Clear directions against the use of tinted glasses must also be issued to all interested parties.
In addition, when asked by the police, the public must be trained to stop, adding that there is also a need to develop public confidence in the police.
The inquiry requested that the authorities involved be suspended from their current positions of service in order to be able to conclude the investigation equally.