HYDERABAD: Antiterrorism court on Saturday acquitted four activists of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and two of Jamaat-i-Islami in a terrorism case for want of evidence.

Hali Road police had booked in multiple cases in 2016 the six activists identified as former member MQM coordination committee Momin Khan Momin, former sector in-charge Intikhab Alam, former unit in-charge Imran Ghauri, former zonal member Amir Iqbal, Jamaat-i-Islami activists Raheel Alam and his brother Tasneem Alam.

They faced main FIR lodged under sections 6/7 of Anti-Terrorism Act and Explosive Substance Act and later, there more FIRs were registered against them on Oct 23, 2016. They were arrested in Baldia workshop, as per police statement.

Intikhab Alam faced charges of possessing a hand grenade and a Kalashnikov, Imran Ghauri was accused of having a G3 rifle, 2,000 bullets and a hand grenade and Tasneem Alam was blamed for possessing a hand grenade in different FIRs.

Shakeel Zai advocate, counsel for the suspects, argued that the then SHO Barkat Korai had held a press conference after the suspects’ detention and went public with a list of properties owned by them without seeking permission from competent authority. The properties should have been presented as sealed documents before trial court, he said.

He said that Intikhab Alam, Raheel Alam and Tasneem Alam were arrested during midnight of Oct 21-22 near Fakir Ka Pir in the area of City police station. Imran Ghauri was picked up on Sept 5 but remained missing for around 45 days before police admitted to arresting him in the main case, he said.

He presented news clippings of two Urdu newspapers to the court whose bureau chiefs and senior journalists, Abdul Hafeez Abid and Junaid Khanzada, stood by their reports about the press conference held by then SHO.

The counsel said that Momin Khan was arrested on Oct 22 near Hyder Chowk and produced before special magistrate on Oct 23 in a separate FIR, which was also lodged at Hali Road police station under section 153-A.

He said that the magistrate granted them bail while observing that police should have obtained permission from Sindh government for inserting this section in the FIR.

He said that Momin Khan was arrested again when he came out of sessions court after being granted bail. He was then booked in another FIR and produced magisterial order before the court when prosecution witness and sub inspector Malik Sher denied having produced him before the magistrate.

Published in Dawn, March 1st, 2021

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