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KARACHI: An antiterrorism court on Friday sentenced three men to death in a case pertaining to killing of a Rangers soldier and wounding a policeman during an armed robbery.

The ATC-XVIII found the three men — Imran Iqbal, Shabbir Javed and Irfan — guilty of attacking personnel of the law enforcement agencies when they resisted their robbery bid on Jan 29 within the remit of the Quaidabad police station.

Rangers’ sepoy Abdul Rauf died during treatment at a hospital, while police constable Umer Wahid survived.

The trial was conducted in the judicial complex inside the Karachi central prison. The verdict was reserved earlier by the court after recording evidence and arguments from both sides.

The verdict stated that the prosecution had fully proved its case against the three men beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Therefore, the court handed down capital punishment to the three men on counts of murder and terrorism. It also imposed a fine of Rs100,000 on each convict.

Separately, the court also sentenced convicts Iqbal and Javed to seven-year imprisonment for possessing illicit weapons. They were also ordered to pay Rs10,000 each as fine.

According to the prosecution, the Rangers soldier and his police constable friend were intercepted by armed robbers when they were passing through the Landhi 89 area on a motorbike in plain clothes. They were forced to stop the bike at gunpoint.

As the bandits were looting valuables and cash from them, one of the two friends challenged them. The bandits opened fire and both the personnel were hit by their bullets. However, they overpowered the bandits and informed the police, who rushed to the scene and arrested them.

The prosecution said that the wounded personnel were shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, where the Rangers soldier died, while the policeman survived the bullet injuries.

Police had arrested Iqbal and Javed on the spot. Their accomplice, Irfan, was arrested later on information provided by the two suspects.

They were booked in two separate cases under Section 397 (robbery or dacoity, with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt), 302 (premeditated murder) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 and Section 23(1)-A of the Sindh Arms Act 2013 at the Quaidabad police station.

Published in Dawn, September 8th, 2018