ATC issues arrest warrants in blasphemy accused murder case

Published September 2, 2020
Due to security reasons, the suspect was not produced before the court and the prison warrant was produced for extension of his judicial remand. — Reuters/File
Due to security reasons, the suspect was not produced before the court and the prison warrant was produced for extension of his judicial remand. — Reuters/File

PESHAWAR: An anti-terrorism court here on Tuesday issued arrest warrants of a suspect in connection with recent killing of an under-trial blasphemy accused inside a courtroom.

The court also extended judicial remand of the suspected teenage killer for 14 days and directed the investigation team to submit final charge sheet of the case within seven days to commence trial.

The investigation team had approached the court for starting proceedings against a suspect, Wasiullah, a resident of Sufaid Dehri area, under section 204 of Code of Criminal Procedure as he has been avoiding arrest.

In case the suspect could not be arrested, the court would initiate further proceedings under section 87 of CrPC to declare him a proclaimed offender.

A suspected teenage killer was apprehended soon after the occurrence inside the courtroom on July 29.

Extends judicial remand of suspected killer for 14 days

He has presently been kept in Peshawar Central Prison on judicial remand. Subsequently, a junior lawyer Tufail Zia was also arrested on charges of taking the pistol used in the offence inside the Judicial Complex and handing it over to the suspected killed.

The FIR of the occurrence was registered at East Cantonment police station on July 29 under Section 302 of Pakistan Penal Code, Section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act and Section 15 of Arms Act.

The police officials told the court that in his statement given to the investigation team, the lawyer Tufail Zia had claimed that he was given the gun by the suspect Wasiullah. They added that Wasiullah was an important suspect in the case, therefore, his arrest was necessary.

Meanwhile, the court also extended judicial remand of the teenage suspect for another 14 days. Due to security reasons, the suspect was not produced before the court and the prison warrant was produced for extension of his judicial remand.

He was sent to prison on August 3 on judicial remand for 14 days after completion of his physical custody with the police. Last month his judicial remand was extended for 14 days, which completed on Tuesday.

The court while extending his remand directed the police to submit the challan within seven days.

Moreover, the court fixed September 2 (Wednesday) for hearing bail petition of the lawyer Tufail Zia, who claimed that he was innocent and was falsely implicated in the case.

Few days ago he was produced before a local court for recording his confessional statement, but he declined to confess to his guilt.

His counsel Shabbir Hussain Gigyani contended that there was no evidence against his client to prove that he had taken the gun inside the Judicial Complex.

The suspect, Tufail Zia, was also a junior counsel representing the complainant, Malik Owais, in the trial against the deceased, Tahir Ahmad Nasim, who was also a US citizen. The complainant, Malik Owais, is a resident of Nowshera studying in a seminary in Islamabad.

The complainant had charged the deceased of making false religious claims that he was a prophet and telling him that he had been receiving divine revelations in dreams.

Published in Dawn, September 2nd, 2020

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