PESHAWAR: Acting Chief Justice of the Peshawar High Court Waqar Ahmad Seth on Friday ordered the transfer of the Kohat medical student Asma Rani murder case, including the bail petitions of her suspected killers, to an anti-terrorism court in Peshawar from Kohat.
The orders were issued on the petition of Asma’s brother, Mohammad Irfan, who claimed that the suspected killers belonged to an influential family of Kohat and therefore, it was impossible for him and his family to pursue the case there.
Justice Waqar ordered that the case and bail petitions of the arrested suspects be transferred to the ATC No 1, Peshawar, which should take them up on Apr 16.
PHC orders case transfer from Kohat on request of deceased’s brother
The petitioner said the suspects had brutally gunned down his sister on Jan 27.
The prime suspect in the case, Mujahidullah, had along with his brother, Sadiqullah, allegedly opened fire at Asma Rani after she turned down his marriage proposal.
The prime suspect later fled to the UAE but was arrested after the Interpol issued his red notices on the request of Pakistani government.
He was shifted to Pakistan last month.
Asma had named Mujahidullah as her killer in dying declaration.
Last month, the high court had ordered the transfer of the bail petitions of suspects to the court of Peshawar’s district and sessions judge.
However, as the provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act were included in the FIR of the killing, the petitions weren’t heard by the sessions court prompting the petitioner to again move the high court for the transfer of the case to the ATC.
Ghulam Mohiuddin Malik, lawyer for the petitioner, said his client’s sister was a student of third year at the International Medical College, Abbottabad, and on the day of her killing, she had come to Kohat to spend weekend.
He said the suspects were the permanent residents of Kohat and belonged to influential political family as one of their close relative was the district president of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, whereas another was an MNA.
The lawyer said several relatives of the suspects were practicing lawyers and they were also having acquaintance with several other leading lawyers in the city.
He said the petitioner tried to engage a counsel in Kohat but no one accepted his case.
The lawyer said the accused were mighty, influential and possessing great strength in the local area.
“On every hearing, they (suspects) are hostile and come to the court with a large number of supporters putting petitioner and his relatives under pressure. They’ve been creating hostile atmosphere and threatening life of the petitioner,” he said.
After the Asma killing, the Kohat police had arrested the co-accused, Sadiqullah, and reportedly seized a 30-bore pistol used in the crime.
They later held another suspect, Shahzeb, who had allegedly helped Mujahidullah flee to Saudi Arabia.
The police claimed that on Shahzeb’s pointation, they had recovered a motorcycle used in the crime and vehicle used by Mujahidullah to flee.
Published in Dawn, April 7th, 2018