SHIKARPUR: An anti-terrorism court on Saturday awarded death sentence to two absconding convicts and life imprisonment to four others while acquitting another accused person in the murder case of Wali Khan Babar, a Geo TV reporter.

Mr Babar was shot dead in Liaquatabad in Karachi on Jan 13, 2011 while he was on his way to home from work.Kandhkot ATC judge Mushtaque Ahmed Laghari, hearing the case on the Shikarpur district prison premises, awarded death sentence to proclaimed offenders Kamran alias Zeeshan and Faisal Mota, and life term to Faisal Mehmood alias Nafsiyati, Naveed alias Polka, Mohammad Ali Rizvi and Shahrukh alias Mani. They were also find Rs100,000 each to be paid to the heirs of the victim. Mohammad Shakeel was acquitted in the case for lack of evidence against him.

The case was transferred to the Kandhkot-Shikarpur district court for security reasons.

The Sindh High Court had transferred the murder case of journalist Wali Khan Babar from Karachi to the anti-terrorism court in Kashmore-Kandhkot district at the request of the Sindh government to transfer the trial from the metropolis in view of threats to the lives of case investigators, witnesses and prosecution lawyers.

Earlier, the then advocate general Khalid Javed Khan had informed a Supreme Court bench that the provincial authorities had moved an application to the chief justice of the Sindh High Court, seeking transfer of the trial from Karachi in view of threats to the lives of the investigators, witnesses and prosecution lawyers.

The bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja and Justice Gulzar Ahmed was hearing the Karachi suo motu judgment implementation case at the Karachi Registry.

Mr Khan submitted that Advocate Naimat Ali Randhawa, who was gunned down on Sept 26, had decided on Sept 20 to appear in the Wali Babar case on behalf of the complainant.

Two policemen, a police officer’s brother and an informer linked to the investigation into the Geo TV reporter’s murder had been methodically targeted earlier.

Wali Babar was shot dead in Liaquatabad on Jan 13, 2011, when as he was going home from office. The case was assigned to the Special Investigation Unit.

Rajab Ali Bengali, a police informer, is stated to be the first victim, whose body was found in a sack on Jan 29, 2011, in Gulshan-i-Iqbal.

The second victim was Constable Asif Rafiq who was killed in a drive-by shooting by two men on a motorcycle on Jan 31, 2011. He had identified the vehicle the attackers had used. He was at the spot at the time of the murder and had noted down its registration number.

Head Constable Arshad Kundi is believed to be the third victim linked to the investigation. He was killed in a drive-by-shooting on March 19, 2011, in Sohrab Goth.

On April 7, 2011, a brother of the SHO of Super Market police station, Shafiq Tanoli, was shot dead. Mr Tanoli told reporters that Naveed Khan had been killed to pressurise him.

In April 2011, the then city police chief announced that five men involved in target killings, including Babar’s murderer, had been arrested. They were identified as Faisal Mehmood, Mohammed Ali Rizvi, Mohammad Shahrukh Khan, Syed Tahir Naveed Shah and Mohammed Shakeel.

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