KARACHI: An antiterrorism court on Wednesday indicted four men, said to be associated with criminal gangs operating in Lyari, in a case pertaining to the murder of Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Ali Raza Abidi.
The four men — Mohammad Farooq, Abdul Haseeb, Mohammad Ghazali and Abu Bakar —have been booked and arrested for their alleged involvement in the murder of former MQM MNA Abidi, who was gunned by assailants outside his Defence residence in December 2018.
The judge of the ATC-11, who was hearing the case inside the judicial complex at the central prison, read out charges against the accused. However, they pleaded not guilty and opted to contest the charges.
The court summoned prosecution witnesses in the case directing them to record their evidence on Nov 30.
The ATC, which already declared absconders Bilal, Hasnain, Faizan and Ghulam Mustafa alias Kali Charan as proclaimed offenders, separated their case from the case of the held accused and issued their perpetual warrants.
The accused have pleaded not guilty and opted to contest the case
According to the prosecution, 46-year-old Abidi was shot dead by armed motorcyclists in an attack on his vehicle outside his residence in Defence Housing Authority, Phase-V on Dec 25 last year.
The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) had arrested the accused persons in March and claimed that they were affiliated with criminal gangs operating in Lyari, it added.
The prosecution further maintained that the accused had tried to set a motorcycle, used in the crime, on fire in a Lyari locality and alleged that they were hired killers as one of the detained accused disclosed that an unidentified man paid them Rs800,000 for the killing of the former MNA.
A case was registered under Sections 302 (premeditated murder) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 on the complaint of the victim’s father Akhlaq Abidi at the Gizri police station. Later, the investigating officer also incorporated Section 21-I (aid and abetment) of the ATA in the charge sheet.
DIG told to file report in missing kids’ case
The Sindh High Court on Wednesday directed a deputy inspector general of police to file an investigation report about the recovery of a missing girl and to make efforts to locate the whereabouts of remaining 15 children.
A two-judge bench headed by Justice K.K. Agha also asked the DIG to ensure that advertisements regarding remaining missing children must be published in newspapers and aired on news channels so that the public may come forward and provide some clues.
At the outset, DIG CIA Arif Hanif placed a report before the bench informing it that a girl, who went missing around three years ago from a Korangi locality, had recently returned home.
The report further said that a judicial magistrate had recorded her statement under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code in which she stated that on July 24, 2016 a rickshaw diver, Saleem, took her away and brought her to the house of his sister in New Karachi. The woman sold the captive girl to one Ali Nawaz for Rs2 million and then she was taken to Thatta, where she was married to Gul Mohammad.
The girl further deposed before the magistrate that after a quarrel with her husband, she left Thatta and came back to Karachi and requested the magistrate to release Gul Mohammad and Ali Nawaz since they kept her in a good manner, it added.
It was further maintained in the police report that a case was registered and all the four suspects had been arrested and an investigation report under Section 173 of the CrPC would be submitted in the court of judicial magistrate concerned in a few days.
However, the police report was silent about the age of the girl and whether she was married against her will or otherwise.
The bench directed the DIG to produce the report under Section 173 of the CrPC along with the magistrate’s order on Dec 15.
Earlier, on an SHC directive, the police had lodged 23 FIRs regarding missing children at different police stations of the city and so far eight of them had returned to their homes.
Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2019