Killer of blasphemy accused sent to jail

Updated 04 Aug 2020

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The police produced the suspected killer, a resident of Gulabad area, in the anti-terrorism court amid strict security measures. — AFP/File
The police produced the suspected killer, a resident of Gulabad area, in the anti-terrorism court amid strict security measures. — AFP/File

PESHAWAR: An anti-terrorism court on Monday sent the suspected killer of a man accused of blasphemy to prison on 14 days remand.

The blasphemy accused, Tahir Ahmad Naseem, a US citizen, was shot down inside a courtroom at the Judicial Complex here on July 29.

An official source told Dawn that the police records showed the suspect was 17 suggesting he’s a juvenile person.

The suspect was remanded in police custody for three days on July 30. The court later extended the remand for a day.

The police produced the suspected killer, a resident of Gulabad area, in the anti-terrorism court amid strict security measures.

He was taken to the court on the Khyber Road in an armoured personnel carrier.

The people, especially lawyers, showed up there in large numbers. Most of them tried to take the suspect’s pictures and film his movement. They threw rose petals on him amid sloganeering.

Lawyers, including those based in other cities, also reached the courtroom with a desire to plead the suspect’s case.

The police officials, including the counter-terrorism department’s, sought extension in the suspect’s physical remand saying a team of officers looking into the incident needed more time to get answers to certain queries.

The court rejected the request and asked the JIT to visit the suspect in prison.

The suspect was held after he killed the under-trial prisoner in the courtroom. The FIR of the occurrence was registered at East Cant police station under Section 302 of Pakistan Penal Code, Section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act and Section 15 of Arms Act.

In a video message, the suspect’s father claimed that his son left the house on Saturday (July 25) saying he’s going to get admission in a seminary.

He said he learned about the killing from social media.

A case against the deceased was registered here at the Sarband police station on Apr 25, 2018, under the 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 an Islamabad seminary.

He had accused 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.

Published in Dawn, August 4th, 2020