KARACHI, April 1: An anti-terrorism court remanded on Monday Shahjehan Baloch, an undertrial prisoner and a candidate of the PPP for the NA-248 constituency, in police custody for interrogation in Arshad Pappu’s murder case.
Arshad Pappu, an alleged leader of a Lyari gang, his brother Yasir Arafat and their confidant Juma Shera were killed on the night of March 16.
The investigating officer moved an application in court and stated that Shahjehan Baloch, who was already in jail custody in other cases, was named in the FIR of the triple murder case, and after getting permission from the court he was formally shown arrested in the case.
Therefore, the IO said that the physical remand of the suspect was required to interrogate him in the new case.
Judge Ghulam Mustafa Memon of ATC-III granted physical remand of a week, but ruled that the police must get the custody of the suspect after sunrise and bring him back to prison before sunset daily.
According to the FIR, lodged on a complaint of Arshad Pappu’s widow, the alleged gangster with his brother, confidant and 10-year-old son had gone to attend the party of a friend in Defence Housing Authority on the night of March 16. The boy came home around midnight and informed his mother that around 20 men in two vehicles came to the flat in the DHA and took his father and the two others away.
It was further stated in the FIR that Arshad Pappu’s son identified Zubair Baloch, a brother of Uzair Jan Baloch, Noor Mohammad alias Baba Ladla, his brother Zahid Ladla, Asif, Faisal Pathan and Zakir Dada as alleged kidnappers.
The complainant said in the FIR that the victims were killed after being subjected to torture and the bodies of her husband and his brother were thrown into manholes in Kalakot after being mutilated. She alleged that the crime was committed at the behest of Shahjehan Baloch.
Mr Baloch, a former union council nazim in Lyari, was confined to prison in over 30 cases lodged against him and the leadership of the banned People’s Amn Committee (PAC) for allegedly putting up resistance during an operation conducted in Lyari in April-May last year and allegedly attacking and killing personnel of the law enforcement agencies.
A case was lodged under Sections 302 (punishment for premeditated murder), 365 (kidnapping with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person), 297 (trespassing on burial place, etc.), 392 (punishment for robbery), 109 (abetment) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the Anti-terrorism Act at the Kalakot police station.
Arshad Pappu was booked in around 60 cases, including murder, kidnapping, attempted murder, illicit weapons and extortion, at different police stations of the city. However, he was never convicted in any case since most of the key witnesses either did not turn up to testify against him or turned hostile before the courts. He was released in around middle of February in 2012 from a prison in Balochistan. He was acquitted in what appeared to be the last case against him on Feb 29, 2012 pertaining to the murder of Faiz Mohammad aka Mama Faizu, a transporter and father of Uzair Jan Baloch, the chief of the banned PAC. Faiz was murdered in January 2003 in the Chakiwara locality of Lyari. Arshad Pappu got bail in the case in May 2011.