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  • Panama Human Rights

A two-year-old boy and his 15-year-old cousin’s sister will not go to World Youth day 2019.....

Updated: Sep 12, 2019

because they were shot dead and killed by the National Police of Panamá

A two-year-old boy and his 15-year-old cousin sister from families belonging to Navsari district were killed in Panama after police opened fire on their car on the Inter-American Highway near San Carlos town, about an hour's drive from Panama's capital, Panama City. Ishan Ahir and his cousin Twinkle were on their way to a resort with their families when police opened fire on October 23.

Media reports in Panama said that the team of judicial investigation directorate's (JID) specialised unit fighting drug trafficking opened fire mistaking the car as that of a murder-accused who had escaped from jail. He was using a car of a similar model. However, October 25 reports said that JID resorted to firing, suspecting that there were drugs in the car.

Ishan's father Bhikhu Ahir and his brother-in-law Suresh Ahir had been settled in Panama for 10 years. Natives of Amadpor-Padgha village, they are employed in retail marketing in Panama City.

Ishan died on the spot as a bullet pierced his stomach while Twinkle succumbed at Santo Tomas Hospital where she was being treated for bullet injuries in the head, relatives of the families in Navsari said. Twinkle was one of the three daughters of Suresh Ahir. When contacted, they refused to comment saying that their families may face further trouble in doing so.

Their relatives organized a prayer meeting at their ancestral home in Amadpor on Monday.

A silent rally condemning the deaths was organized in Panama City on Monday in which 2,500 people, largely from the Ahir community from Gujarat, participated.

On the 26th January 2017 Varela’s police officer Teniente: Alexander Rosales were sentenced to 30 years for the murder of these two children.

In October, on the Pan American Highway near the town of San Carlos, police opened fire on a car they mistook for a similar car believed to be driven by escaped convicts. A two-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl died as a result. Large street protests occurred, with civil society organizations demanding accountability. Although the National Police of Panama (PNP), Ombudsman’s Office, and Attorney General’s Office initiated separate investigations, none resulted in prosecutions or suspensions.

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