By S. Raza Hasan
KARACHI, Aug 20: Bodies bearing torture marks and gunshot wounds that are being dumped in various parts of the city in gunny bags indicate that “torture cells” do exist in many localities of the metropolis, sources told Dawn.
However, law-enforcement agencies despite having a sense that such activities were going on were not taking any action, the sources claimed.
During the decade of 1990s, the concept of torture cells emerged in the city when law-enforcement agencies claimed to have unearthed several such places in different city areas, a senior law-enforcement officer said.
“The torture victims` bodies that are being dumped along the roads these days remind me of the decade of `90s when such tactics were first used,” the officer added.
Law-enforcement and hospital sources are of the opinion that the manner in which these victims are subjected to torture and the techniques used in torture — such as slitting of throats, etc — suggest that such gruesome acts cannot be carried out on roadsides and somewhere sorts of torture chambers must be existing.
At least 24 bodies were brought to the Civil Hospital Karachi on Thursday morning which had been thrown from moving vehicles in different parts of the city. Apparently the victims were kidnapped, tortured and later put to death.
Officials were of the opinion that the presumed torture or execution cells are not confined to any particular parts of the city. And their existence could be assessed from the places where the bodies were being dumped, they add.
Generally, bodies were often dumped not very far from the place where the supposed torture cells were located, the sources said. It was believed so because taking a body to a faraway location carried obvious risks, the sources added.
It was also believed that terrorists and assassins used old government school buildings, under-construction structures, abandoned houses or apartments and other such places, which fell into disuse over the time, for their nefarious activities.
People in the surrounding localities and neighbourhoods often became suspicious of such activities, but because of fear they remained silent, the sources opined.
“Even if someone is bold enough to go to law-enforcers to report such matters, no concrete action on such complaints should be expected,” the sources said.