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KARACHI: An anti-terrorism court acquitted on Saturday three accused, alleged to be agents of the Indian spy agency, in five cases of explosives and illicit weapons for lack of evidence.

Tahir, alias Lamba, Junaid Khan and Imtiaz have been booked for allegedly carrying explosive substances and unlicensed weapons in a Malir locality in April last year.

Police had alleged that they belonged to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and were trained by the Indian spy agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

After recording evidence and concluding arguments from both sides, judge Abdul Naeem Memon of ATC-VI, who conducted trial after amalgamating five cases inside the central prison, exonerated the accused.

The court ruled that the prosecution remained totally unable to establish the cases against the accused persons beyond any shadow of the doubt.

The court observed that there were glaring contradictions in the documentary evidence as well as in the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses, adding that police also conducted faulty investigations.

Earlier, defence counsel Mohammad Jawani argued that two accused were kept in wrongful detention around a month before their formal arrest and the recoveries were foisted upon them.

The prosecutor, however, contended that they had examined around 10 witnesses and the cases stood proved.

According to the prosecution, initially police arrested Tahir and Junaid and allegedly found explosives, weapons and hand grenades in their custody. The arrested accused disclosed that Imtiaz, who was arrested by Rangers at MQM headquarters Nine-Zero in March 2015, had provided the explosives and asked them to keep them, it added. Later, Imtiaz was also shown arrested in the main case of explosive material.

Three explosives and two illicit weapons cases were registered against them under Section 4/5 of the Explosive Substances Act, 1908 and Section 23(1) A of the Sindh Arms Act, 2013 read with Section 7 of the Anti-terrorism Act, 1997 at the SITE Superhighway Industrial Area police station.

The court directed the jail authorities to release them if they were not wanted in any other criminal case.

After the arrest of the accused, SSP-Malir Rao Anwar had claimed that they were MQM men and employees of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and had been trained by RAW in India to carry out terrorist activities in the city.

The officer had also urged the federal government to ban the MQM and termed it an “anti-state” organisation.

Police had not registered any case of anti-state offences against them.

FC guard gets bail

A sessions court granted on Saturday an interim pre-arrest bail to a Frontier Constabulary guard in a case of slapping a female reporter of a news channel.

Hasan Abbas through his lawyer sought a pre-arrest bail, and after a preliminary hearing, an additional district and sessions judge (central) granted him interim bail against a surety bond of Rs50,000. The court also issued a notice to the prosecution for arguments on next hearing.

The applicant has been booked for allegedly slapping the reporter outside the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) office in Liaquatabad during the recording of a television show a couple of days ago.

Nadra also got a “counter-case” registered against the reporter and her team for creating “hindrances in official work”.

Published in Dawn October 23rd, 2016