JIT head summoned for testimony in Perween Rahman murder case

Published June 11, 2021
Rahman, who had dedicated her life for the development of impoverished localities, was gunned down near her office in Orangi Town on March 13, 2013. — File
Rahman, who had dedicated her life for the development of impoverished localities, was gunned down near her office in Orangi Town on March 13, 2013. — File

KARACHI: An antiterrorism court has summoned the head of a joint investigation team which had grilled the accused persons charged with murdering Orangi Pilot Project head Perween Rahman for recording his testimony.

Five accused — Abdul Raheem Swati, his son Mohammad Imran Swati and three co-accused: Ayaz Shamzai aka Swati, Amjad Hussain Khan and Ahmed Khan aka Ahmed Ali aka Pappu Kashmiri — have been charged with murdering her.

Ms Rahman, who had dedicated her life for the development of impoverished localities, was gunned down near her office in Orangi Town on March 13, 2013.

The matter recently came up before ATC-VII, which is conducting trial of the five detained accused in the judicial complex inside the central prison.

Mugger gets 17-year imprisonment

At the outset, an assistant director (legal) of the Federal Investigation Agency’s Counter-Terrorism Wing, Khalid Shaikh, produced three witnesses for recording their testimonies.

Deputy inspector general of the Counter-Terrorism wing Omar Shahid, the then head of the joint investigation team, appeared before the court and recorded his testimony.

He told the court that DSP Sultan Ahmed Panhwar of the Special Branch, who was a member of the joint investigation team, had died. Therefore, he requested that the court record statement of another member of the JIT, Mazhar Iqbal Mashwani, officer in-charge of the Pakistan Base Terrorist Intelligence Group of the CTD.

Allowing the request, the judge recorded testimony of Mr Mashwani.

Fahad Mohammad Deshmukh, a freelance journalist, who had interviewed Ms Rahman in the OPP office in December 2011, also appeared before the court and recorded his testimony.

The court was informed that another witness, Aijaz Ahmed Shaikh, an assistant director in the FIA/CTW, was unable to attend the court to record his testimony due to some domestic issues.

Mr Shaikh had conducted the forensic analysis of an interview of Perween Rahman aired on an international radio channel.

The court summoned Babar Bakht, the then head of the JIT, and Aijaz Sheikh on June 14 for recording their testimonies in the case and adjourned the hearing.

Mugger sentenced

An antiterrorism court sentenced a mugger to 17-year imprisonment in cases of an encounter, attempt to murder, terrorism and illicit arms.

Kashif Nawaz was found guilty of attacking police with the intention to murder and terrorism during a robbery attempt in June 2020.

Special public prosecutor Iqbal Meo Rajput said according to complainant Syed Mohammad Hassan Rizvi two armed motorcyclists robbed him of Rs6,000. Meanwhile, the police arrived there and the bandits opened fire on them in an attempt to escape, but Kashif Nawaz was arrested in an injured condition while his alleged accomplice escaped.

He said there was sufficient evidence to establish the charge against the accused.

On the other hand, the accused denied the allegations and claimed innocence in his statement recorded under Section 342 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Two cases were registered at the Aziz Bhatti police station.

Published in Dawn, June 11th, 2021

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