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Perween Rahman murder case hearing adjourned on lawyer’s request for time to file appeal

Updated December 30, 2018

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The judicial inquiry report, placed before the apex court in 2014, had recommended that the murder be reinvestigated by an efficient, independent and honest police officer. ─ File photo
The judicial inquiry report, placed before the apex court in 2014, had recommended that the murder be reinvestigated by an efficient, independent and honest police officer. ─ File photo

KARACHI: A lawyer on Saturday asked an antiterrorism court conducting trial in the Perween Rahman murder case to grant time to file an appeal against its order before the Sindh High Court.

Ayaz Shamzai alias Swati, Mohammad Amjad Hussain Khan, Ahmed Khan alias Ahmed Ali alias Pappu Kashmiri and Mohammad Imran Swati, Mohammad Raheem Swati have been charged with allegedly killing Ms Rehman, director of the Orangi Pilot Project, on Manghopir Road in March 2013.

On the previous hearing, the judge of ATC-13, who is conducting the trial at the judicial complex inside the Karachi central prison, dismissed an application filed by the lawyer for complainant, Salahuddin Panhwar, under Section 540 (power to summon material witness) of the criminal procedure code asking the trial court to call the members of a joint investigation team (JIT) which reinvestigated the case as witnesses.

The trial court had rejected an application to call members of the joint investigation team as witnesses

Since, the prosecution had examined all important witnesses the counsel for the complainant requested the trial court to grant time to file an appeal against its order before the SHC.

The lawyer also said that an application had also been filed before the Supreme Court for the arrest of the absconding accused. The court adjourned the hearing till Jan 5.

The prosecution said that some of the detained accused during interrogations confessed to their involvement and said that local leaders of the Awami National Party had hired Taliban militants to assassinate Ms Rahman.

Ayaz and Raheem, local leaders of ANP, were residing near the OPP office and tried to obtain a designated area to construct a Karate centre, but Ms Rehman refused, it added.

The prosecution further said that all the accused persons were present in a meeting held in January 2013 at the residence of Raheem in which they planned the assassination of Ms Rahman, adding that they hired a local TTP commander, Moosa, and Mehfoozullah alias Bhaloo to assassinate the OPP head.

The investigating officer stated that two other accused in the case — Qari Bilal and Mehfoozullah — had already been killed while Bilal Ahmed alias Tension had been released after his arrest for lack of evidence. Moosa, Shaldar Khan and others are still at large.

A case was registered under Sections 302 (premeditated murder) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code at the Pirabad police station. Later, Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 was incorporated in the case on a directive of the Supreme Court of Pakistan that also had ordered a judicial inquiry into the case.

The judicial inquiry report, placed before the apex court in 2014, had recommended that the murder be reinvestigated by an efficient, independent and honest police officer. It expressed dissatisfaction over the probe stating that the police investigators had not hesitated to manipulate key aspects of the investigation.

A JIT was constituted to review the investigation on the directive of Supreme Court, which was approached by Aquila Ismail, sister of the slain Ms Rahman, and Zohra Yousuf of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan for reinvestigation into the case.

Published in Dawn, December 30th, 2018

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