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KARACHI: An antiterrorism court on Tuesday rejected the bail application filed by Raheem Swati, the alleged main accused in a case pertaining to the murder of renowned social activist Perween Rahman.

Raheem Swati and his son Imran Swati along with three co-accused Ayaz Shamzai alias Swati, Amjad Hussain Khan and Ahmed Khan alias Ahmed Ali alias Pappu Kashmiri have been charged with her murder.

Ms Rahman, head of the Orangi Pilot Project, was gunned down near her office in Orangi Town on March 13, 2013.

On Tuesday, the ATC-XIII judge, who is conducting trial in the judicial complex inside the central prison, pronounced his verdict which was reserved a day ago after arguments from the defence, prosecution and complainant’s sides.

In his order, the judge observed that from the case record it appeared that after the alleged incident the accused Raheem Swati had gone underground in order to save himself from arrest.

He added that the record further showed that the complainant party had made efforts and petitioned the Supreme Court and on directives of the apex court a committee to probe into the matter was constituted, but the co-accused Imran Swati, who is son of accused Raheem, misguided the committee and suppressed the real facts.

The court noted from the record that the accused had confessed his crime under Section 21-H of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 before the West Range SSP and disclosed the names of his companions involved in the case.

“It is a well-settled principle of law that before recording entire evidence in the trial court only tentative assessment is to be made for deciding the bail application,” observed the judge.

He further ruled, “material witnesses are not yet examined in this case, therefore, I do not find any merits in the instant bail application and same is hereby rejected.”

Life imprisonment for sectarian murders

An antiterrorism court on Tuesday handed down rigorous life imprisonment to two convicts for killing two people on sectarian grounds in 2014.

Mohammad Yousuf alias Qasim and Ahmed-ud-Din alias Salman were found guilty of killing Mohammad Kazim Naqvi and his sister Neha Fatima in Khuda Ki Basti, Phase-II of Surjani Town on Aug 10, 2014.

The ATC-VII judge, who conducted trial in the judicial complex inside the central prison, pronounced his verdict on Tuesday after recording the evidence and final arguments from both sides.

The judge observed that the prosecution had established its case against both the detained men beyond any reasonable doubt and therefore sentenced them under Section 7(a) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 2007 read with Section 302(b) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs200,000 each on both the convicts. In case of non-payment, the convicts were ordered to undergo simple imprisonment for six months.

Furthermore, the judge also sentenced them to rigorous imprisonment for 10 years and imposed a fine of Rs10,000 each under Section 7(b) of the ATA for causing injuries to Naeema Qazim, Rida Fatima and baby Zainab.

Separately, the convict Yousuf alias Qasim was awarded seven years rigorous imprisonment and fine of Rs10,000 in a case of possessing illicit weapons. On default, he would undergo simple imprisonment for six months.

Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2018