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SUKKUR: The C-Section police of old Sukkur on Thursday obtained a two-day remand of two suspects, Wajid Ansari and Kashif Ansari, arrested for their alleged involvement in the April 14 murder of a 12-year-old youth, Farrukh Ansari.

The two suspects were produced in the court of a civil judge, who remanded them into police custody for two days. The police informed the court that two other suspects named in the relevant FIR, Shahrukh Ansari and Waqar Ansari, were still at large but efforts were under way to arrest them. They claimed that the weapon used in the crime had also been recovered.

Farrukh Ansari, a class-VI student, was the son of Zahid Ansari, a resident of Nusrat Colony No. 6, old Sukkur. The bereaved family had lodged an FIR at the C-Section police soon after the youth’s body was found dumped on Rohri bypass near Sukkur city on Friday last and it emerged that he was killed with a sharp-edged weapon. The bereaved family stated that there was evidence that the body was torched as well by the killers.

Police arrested two of the suspects after registering the FIR against four suspects but in the next four days a large number of Ansari community members took to the streets of old Sukkur complaining that some political activists and media personnel were ‘pressuring’ the police for the release of the suspects. They said that Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) was also not being invoked in the FIR to save the suspects from being tried under that law. A group of activists accompanying the protesting Ansaris had also vented their anger by attacking the local press club with stones and manhandling and injuring a dozen of the media personnel present there.

According to Zahid Ansari, his son was accompanying Kashif after they were last seen going somewhere by motorcycle on April 14. He said when Farrukh did not return home by late evening, he and his family members started a search and informed police of his disappearance. He said Kashif initially kept saying that he had dropped Farrukh at home by the evening but when police picked up and interrogated him, he not only revealed the murder details but also named the alleged killers.

Police arrested Wajid Ansari and later claimed that he had confessed to have murdered Farrukh with the help of his other associates.

While activists of one political party appeared to be actively supporting the bereaved family in its April 17 protest, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s legal aid committee members advocate Siraj Ahmed, advocate Tariq Yousufzai along with Fareed Siddiqui and some other people appeared before the media and offered necessary legal assistance to the victim’s family.

They said they also condemned registration of an FIR under the ATA against many people who were protesting against the murder outside the Sukkur Press Club on April 17.

Instead, they said, Section 7 of the ATA should be applied in the FIR lodged by the victim’s family.

They noted with concern that the police and bereaved family were being pressured to withdraw the case and get the matter settled through negotiations.

Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2017