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KARACHI: An antiterrorism court dismissed bail applications of 11 suspended jail officials on Wednesday in a case pertaining to the escape of two undertrial prisoners.

The then assistant superintendents, Naveed Ahmed Khan and Salik Ayaz, assistant sub-inspector Faroosh Mohammad and head clerk Rafiq Ahmed Channa and constables Nawab Ali, Nadir Hussain, Mohammad Takeel, Abdul Ghafoor, Saeed Ahmed, Atta Mohammad and Mohammad Sajjad through their lawyers moved bail applications.

After hearing arguments from both sides, the judge of the ATC-19, who was conducting the trial at the judicial complex inside the Karachi Central Prison, dismissed their bail applications.

The court also issued warrants for the arrest of absconding accused and directed the investigating officer to arrest and produce them in court by Oct 5.

Meanwhile, the court confirmed the interim pre-arrest bail of a man, Mohammad Shafiq.

The then superintendent of the Karachi Central Prison, Ghulam Murtaza Shaikh, deputy superintendent Faheem Anwar Memon and assistant superintendent Abdul Rehman Shaikh, who were granted bail in July, along with 11 other officials and personnel have been booked for their alleged negligence in the June 13 escape of the two suspected militants — Shaikh Mohammad Mumtaz alias Firaun alias Sher Khan and Mohammad Ahmed Khan alias Munna — said to be associated with the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LJ), from the premises of central prison.

Besides the escaped UTPs, Azhar, Zubair, Bilawal Hussain and Sher Bano have been shown as absconders in an interim investigation report.

According to the prosecution, the UTPs had escaped from the judicial complex inside the central prison, where they were brought in connection with the hearing of some cases.

They were arrested in 2013 for their alleged involvement in several cases of targeted killing. They belonged to the Qasim Rasheed group linked with the Naeem Bukhari-led LJ.

The interim charge sheet said that Azharuddin and Zubair Ayub came to meet the UTPs in a courtroom on the premises of the prison and helped them flee by removing a grill. Thereafter, both the suspects with other absconders helped the escaped UTPs reach Haripur, where Bilawal provided them shelter, it added.

The report further stated that the involvement of the absconders had been established through the call data record and statements of witnesses, including the prisoners who were brought to the court with both the militants on the day of the incident.

Mohammad Shafiq, father of Bilawal, also informed investigators that his son had provided accommodation to both the militants at his home in Haripur after their escape.

The interim charge sheet said that the jail officials and personnel were found involved in the case due to their negligence.

The IO has placed 17 prosecution witnesses in the interim investigation report.

Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2017