KARACHI: Alleged Lyari kingpin Uzair Baloch has “confessed” to collecting bhatta (protection money) from government functionaries and people at the behest of politicians with connivance of Karachi police high-ups.
These disclosures came in a confessional statement of the alleged gangster recorded before a judicial magistrate under Section 164 of the criminal procedure code (CrPC).
The confessional statement was recently submitted by the prosecutor before antiterrorism court-XVI, which is conducting trial against Uzair in three criminal cases.
In the confessional statement, the chief of the defunct Peoples Amn Committee disclosed that that he used to collect bhatta from different government departments and persons, particularly from the Sindh fisheries department.
He claimed that Rs2 million was given per month to him while Rs10m protection money was given per month to Faryal Talpur, a sister of former president Asif Zardari, from the fisheries department.
Says ex-chairmen of fisheries were appointed on his recommendation
“Dr Saeed Baloch and Dr Nisar Morai were appointed as chairmen of the fisheries department on my recommendations,” Baloch added in his statement.
Uzair Baloch further disclosed that he had “friendly” ties with the then capital city police officer of Karachi Waseem Ahmed, senior superintendent of police Farooq Awan and his brother, Shahadat Awan, the then former prosecutor general of Sindh.
The suspect alleged to have helped both Awan brothers in encroaching upon pieces of land, including 10/15 acres situated in Samoon Goth.
He also disclosed to have collected Rs200,000 to Rs150,000 per month in extortion from the areas of the then SSP Farooq Awan and giving the same to the latter.
The court summoned the judicial magistrate, who had recorded the confessional statement, to appear on the next date to record his testimony and adjourned the nearing.
On the last date, the judge had expressed his resentment over the prosecution for its failure to examine a key witness (judicial magistrate) in three cases against Uzair Baloch and directed the prosecutor general of Sindh to ensure that the witness was examined on the next hearing.
The judge had noted that a judicial magistrate, who recorded the confessional statement of Uzair and was the last prosecution witness to be examined in these cases, had appeared before it for “five times to record his testimony”, but prosecution had failed to examine him over non-availability of an envelope containing the memo of confessional statement.
The court deplored that the prosecution did not have the key required document in its possession and such weakness on its part was delaying the trial.
The judge directed the prosecutor general of Sindh to ensure that the judicial magistrate along with the required documents was produced before the court to record his evidence.
Published in Dawn, June 25th, 2021