KARACHI: An antiterrorism court awarded on Monday death sentence “twice” to two clerics for murdering a 15-year-old boy kidnapped for ransom in 2016.
Qari Ahsan Ali and Qari Abdul Majeed were found guilty of kidnapping Abdul Moiz for ransom, killing him and dumping his body parts in different areas of Brigade police station in June 2016.
On Monday, the ATC-XX judge pronounced his verdict reserved after recording evidence and final arguments from both sides.
The judge noted that the prosecution proved the charges against the accused persons beyond a shadow of a doubt.
He further noted that “the manner in which the accused acted while taking the life of an innocent, I am of the considered view that they do not deserve any leniency”.
They were handed down death sentence each on the counts of kidnapping for ransom, murder and terrorism.
The judge also ordered each convict to pay a Rs1 million fine or undergo 10-year imprisonment on default.
All the sentences would run concurrently. However, these sentences are subject to confirmation or otherwise by the Sindh High Court.
Both the convicts, who were present in court, were sent to prison to serve out their sentences.
Special public prosecutor Iqbal Meo argued that the victim, Moiz, then aged 15, had brought a form from the Ghousia Qadriya mosque in Khudadad Colony on June 26, 2016 to sit in aitekaf during Ramazan.
The teenager, who was a Haifz-i-Quran, filled in the form and went to the mosque to submit the same, but never returned, the prosecutor added.
He further stated that the complainant, Mohammad Arif, received a text message from his son’s mobile phone and the unknown caller demanded a Rs700,000 ransom for the boy’s safe release.
The victim’s family paid Rs400,000 to the kidnappers, who promised to set the boy free after one hour, the prosecutor said, adding that the boy never returned home.
The prosecution said that both the accused used to teach Quran to Abdul Moiz, thus due to the fear of being identified, they instead butchered the boy and buried his body parts in different areas.
The prosecutor argued that the police arrested Qari Ahsan Ali, who led to the arrest of Qari Abdul Majeed, adding that both of them led the police to the recovery of the body parts of the deceased, a knife and a dagger used in the crime.
Mr Meo contended that the medical, circumstantial and ocular evidence fully corroborated the allegations of the prosecution and established the role of the accused men. Therefore, he asked the court to convict them in accordance with the law.
On the other hand, the accused men in their statements recorded under Section 342 of the Criminal Procedure Code denied the allegations and claimed innocence. They asked the court to acquit them.
Published in Dawn, June 15th, 2021