KARACHI, Jan 19: Two eyewitnesses picked out the prime suspect in the Shahzeb murder case during an identification parade before the court of a judicial magistrate on Saturday.
Four suspects — Shahrukh Jatoi, Nawab Siraj Ali Talpur, his younger brother Nawab Sajjad Ali Talpur and their house servant Ghulam Murtaza Lashari — have been booked and arrested for their alleged involvement in the murder of 20-year-old Shahzeb, who was gunned down in the Defence area on the night of Dec 24.
An anti-terrorism court had remanded them in police custody till Jan 23.
The prime suspect Jatoi, who fled to Dubai after the murder and later surrendered himself to the police when they arrested his father in the case, was brought to the city courts by a heavy contingent of police with his face covered.
He was produced before Judicial Magistrate (south) Waqar Ahmed Soomro, who conducted the identification parade after completing legal formalities.
The suspect was lined up along with dummies in the courtroom and then the magistrate called two witnesses to identify him.
Court sources said that both witnesses picked out the suspect among the dummies and while assigning his role in the commissioning of the offence, they said that the suspect along with his accomplices had fired upon the vehicle of Shahzeb which overturned and then they again fired on him causing his death.
However, the suspect informed the magistrate that both witnesses had met him and seen him at the Boat Basin police station on Friday.
Defence counsel Naeem Qureshi also said that the pictures of his client had frequently been shown and printed in the electronic and print media after the incident. If the suspect or his photos were shown to the witnesses before the identification parade, then it would have no legal weight, he argued.
According to the prosecution, the victim had an altercation with the suspects since they tried to tease his sister and later the issue was settled by some elders, but the suspects had allegedly killed the victim by opening indiscriminate firing on his vehicle on the night of Dec 24.
A case (FIR 591/12) was registered under Sections 302 (premeditated murder), 109 (abetment) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code on a complaint of deceased’s father Aurangzeb, a deputy superintendent of police, at the Darakhshan police station.
Later, Sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modestly) of the PPC and 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 were also incorporated in the FIR.
Sikandar Ali Jatoi, father of Shahrukh Jatoi, was also arrested on Dec 10 for an offence under Section 109 (abetment) of the PPC and he was remanded in police custody the following day.
However, the investigation officer had informed the court that he released the elder Jatoi under Section 497 (ii) of the criminal procedure code, as during the course of investigations no solid evidence was found against him.
Asif Lund and Salman Jatoi were shown absconders in the last remand papers.
The prime suspect Jatoi was shown arrested in the present case on Jan 17 after a police team brought him from Dubai. Other suspects were taken into custody on Jan 6 in Dadu.
The Supreme Court took suo motu notice in the present case and it is fixed for hearing before the apex court on Jan 29.