ATC allows acquittal plea of Zulfikar Mirza in police station attack case

Published April 13, 2021
This file photo shows former home minister Dr Zulfikar Ali Mirza. —Online/File
This file photo shows former home minister Dr Zulfikar Ali Mirza. —Online/File

KARACHI: An antiterrorism court on Monday acquitted former home minister Dr Zulfikar Ali Mirza in a 2015 case pertaining to storming a police station in Badin, abusing and threatening police officials for registering his complaint against then president Asif Ali Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur and others.

The disgruntled and disowned leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party was exonerated from all the charges as the prosecution failed to prove its case.

On Monday, the ATC-I pronounced its verdict on an application of Dr Mirza, who sought his acquittal in the present case.

The judge, who had reserved the verdict on the application after hearing arguments from both sides on Saturday, observed that the prosecution failed to prove the allegations against the applicant.

The court allowed the application and acquitted Dr Mirza in the present case.

According to the prosecution, Dr Mirza along with his over 40 associates armed with deadly weapons had stormed the Badin police station on May 3, 2015, where he allegedly asked the officials to lodge his complaint against Mr Zardari and Ms Talpur, the then inspector general of police Ghulam Hyder Jamali, and the then SSP-Badin.

It further mentioned that Dr Mirza got angry when then SHO-Badin Abdul Qadir Samoon told Mr Mirza about seeking permission from the high-ups for lodging his complaint.

It said he abused the police officials, snatched the SHO’s mobile phone, ransacked the furniture and hurled threats of dire consequences at the officials there.

In his arguments, Special Public Prosecutor Mubashir Mirza submitted that accused Mirza had challenged the writ of the government, waged a rebellion against the state and created a sense of insecurity among the public.

He further submitted that the prosecution witnesses in their statements had fully implicated the accused persons in the commissioning of the offence.

The prosecutor said there was sufficient evidence available on record to prove the charges against the accused and requested the judge to dismiss the acquittal application for having no merits.

Around 40 people were nominated in the case and during the trial proceedings three accused persons had died, added the prosecutor.

Defence counsel Ashraf Samoon argued that there was no sufficient evidence to prove the allegations levelled by the prosecution against his client as he was innocent and did not commit any offence falling within the ambit of the anti-terrorism law, etc.

He pleaded to the court to allow application of Dr Mirza and acquit him in the present case.

A case was registered under the relevant sections of the law at the Badin police station on behalf of the state.

The court is also scheduled to announce on May 3 its verdict on Dr Mirza’s acquittal applications filed in two other cases pertaining to armed rioting, violence and shutting down and looting shops in Badin in 2015.

Published in Dawn, April 13th, 2021

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