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KARACHI: An antiterrorism court reserved on Thursday its order on bail applications filed by two detained former policemen in a DHA shoot-out case.

Salman Abro, the main suspect and son of a superintendent of police, along with police guards of his father have been charged with killing his 18-year-old classmate Suleman Lashari on the night of May 8, 2014.

The guards include Imran Ali, Yasin Jamali, Mohammad Rashid and Maqbool Brohi.

The ATC-VII judge, who conducted the trial in the judicial complex inside the central prison, fixed September 6 for pronouncement of its order on the bail pleas of Imran Ali and Yasin Jamali.

On Thursday, defence counsel for both the undertrial former police officials argued that as per contents of the FIR of the incident six accused persons came to the house of Lashari at 0230 hours, resorted to firing outside the house and later three of them went inside and allegedly shot dead Lashari.

The counsel further argued that their clients stayed outside the house, thus no specific role in the murder was assigned to them in the FIR, which meant that the offence ascribed to them did not fell within the ambit of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

Therefore, they may be released on bail since there was no likelihood of them to abscond, defence counsel pleaded.

On the other hand, the complainant’s counsel Advocate Salahuddin Panhwar opposed the bail plea, arguing that the applicants resorted to firing outside the victim’s house and shouting “should not be spared today”.

He added that the whole episode was witnessed by four eyewitnesses, who had also identified the applicants during an identification parade conducted by the judicial magistrate.

He further argued that 35 empties of bullets were found from the crime scene, of them 17 were shot by the applicants from an official sub-machine gun and 9mm pistols outside the house.

“The act of challenging and firing shots outside the house at midnight caused a sense of insecurity and fear among the common citizens,” argued Mr Panhwar adding that such act duly fell within the ambit of Section 6 of the ATA and Section 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code, thus it corroborated the contents of the FIR. He pleaded to dismiss the bail pleas.

After hearing arguments, the judge reserved the order to be pronounced on Sept 6.

However, the third suspect Mohammad Rashid withdrew his bail plea.

Abro, who was declared juvenile, also sustained bullet wounds while one of his guards was killed in the exchange of fire.

A case was registered under Sections 302 (premeditated murder), 324 (attempted murder), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 on the complaint of the brother of the deceased at the Darakhshan police station.

Later, police had added Section 457 (lurking house-trespass or house-breaking by night in order to commit offence punishable with imprisonment) of the PPC in the charge sheet.

Published in Dawn, September 1st, 2018