PESHAWAR: An anti-terrorism court on Thursday remanded the suspected killer of a man accused of blasphemy in police custody for three days.
The blasphemy accused, Tahir Ahmad Naseem, was shot down inside a courtroom at the Judicial Complex here on Wednesday.
The police produced suspected killer Faisal, a resident of Gulabad area, in the anti-terrorism court in the morning amid strict security measures.
The relevant police officials told the court that the suspect was held after he killed the under-trial prisoner in the courtroom and that he had been charged under Section 302 of Pakistan Penal Code, Section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act and Section 15 of Arms Act.
They sought the custody of the suspected killer for interrogation saying the investigation into the case is in initial stages.
The court granted his three-day physical custody to the police with the orders for his production before it on Aug 2.
He was produced before ATC amid tight security
Stricter security arrangements were witnessed on the premises.
Normally, a visitor wanting to reach a courtroom at the Judicial Complex has to pass through at least three security checkpoints, where thorough body search by frisking and scanners take place. The people wonder how the suspected killer took a pistol to the courtroom.
Meanwhile, the US State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs revealed that deceased Tahir Ahmad Naseem was a US citizen.
In a message on social networking site, Twitter, it said, “We extend our condolences to the family of Tahir Naseem, the American citizen who was killed today inside a courtroom in Pakistan. We urge Pakistan to take immediate action and pursue reforms that will prevent such a shameful tragedy from happening again.”
A video went viral on social media showing the suspected killer tell people in the courtroom after the murder that he was asked by Holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) to kill the accused as he was a blasphemer.
When asked by one of those in attendance, he didn’t name the person, who gave him the pistol.
A case against the deceased was registered here at Sarband Police Station on Apr 25, 2018, under Pakistan Penal Code sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups), 295-A (acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class), 295-B (defiling Holy Quran), 295-C (derogatory remarks in respect of Holy Prophet) and 298 (uttering words to wound religious feelings).
The complainant in that case was Malik Owais, a resident of Nowshera, who studies in a seminary of Islamabad.
He had charged the deceased of making false religious claims and telling him that he had been receiving Divine Revelations in dreams.
The deceased was indicted on Feb 4, 2019, under PPC sections 153-A, 295-A and 298, while the charge sheet didn’t have PPC sections 295-B and 295-C.
The deceased had denied charges and decided to stand trial.
Sources informed Dawn that the police and judicial officials continued examining the footage of different CCTV cameras installed in the Judicial Complex.
An official said one of the prime questions they were looking into was how the suspect took the gun inside, whether that was handed over to him by someone inside or he had carried it himself.
Published in Dawn, July 31st, 2020