Accused tortured Noor with knuckleduster before beheading her, court told

Published July 25, 2021
Police escort Zahir Zakir Jaffer, the key suspect in the Noor Mukadam murder case, to the court to seek extension in his physical remand on Friday. — Screengrab via Twitter
Police escort Zahir Zakir Jaffer, the key suspect in the Noor Mukadam murder case, to the court to seek extension in his physical remand on Friday. — Screengrab via Twitter
  • Duty magistrate extends physical remand for two days
  • Complainant’s counsel says tactics being used to force victim’s family for out-of-court settlement
  • Police seek placing of alleged killer’s name on PNIL

ISLAMABAD: The alleged killer, Zahir Jaffer, tortured Noor Mukadam with a knuckleduster before beheading her in Islamabad’s F-7/4 sector, the investigating officer revealed before the court of the duty magistrate on Saturday.

The police had produced the accused in the court to seek extension in his physical remand.

In another development, the police investigation wing has sent a request to the immigration authorities to put the name of the alleged killer on the Provincial National Identification List (PNIL).

Duty Magistrate Suhaib Bilal Ranjha extended the remand for two days and directed the police to produce him before the judicial magistrate at the Kohsar police station on Monday.

Former ambassador Shaukat Ali Mukadam, the father of the deceased woman, reached the court of Judge Ranjha at around 10:30am. He remained outside the court for over four hours as the police produced the accused after much delay.

The counsel for the complainant, Shah Khawar, told Dawn that tactics were being used to compel the victim’s family for an out-of-court settlement.

He said the police did not invoke Section 311 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), keeping in view the gruesomeness of the murder.

“The first information report (FIR) was registered under Section 302 of the PPC which is a compoundable offence and can be settled under a compromise,” Mr Khawar said, adding that Section 311 was related to Fisad-fil-Arz, which made the offence non-compoundable, and therefore the matter could not be settled out of court.

When Mr Mukadam was asked whether he had been approached for an out-of-court settlement, he replied that so far no one had asked him for a compromise, adding that he would never accept it at any cost.

Talking to Dawn, Investigating Officer Abdul Sattar said since he had to submit some documents before another court, the production of the accused was delayed.

When Judge Ranjha took up the case, the investigating officer informed him that the police had recovered a pistol, knife and knuckleduster from the accused after he was taken into custody.

He said clothes of the deceased and blood samples had been obtained from the crime scene while statements of the witnesses were recorded under Section 161 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

The officer sought extension in the remand of the accused, saying the police had to recover his mobile phone and that of the deceased to obtain valuable information and find out whether Zahir was in contact with anyone else.

Editorial: Noor’s case will be a test for the authorities and for Pakistani society in more ways than one

Advocate Mohammad Danial, a junior lawyer who represented the accused, opposed extending the physical remand of Zahir Jaffer on the plea that the police had already recovered weapons from his custody and therefore further remand was no longer required.

During the proceedings, a plainclothes police official could be seen whispering in the ear of the accused, updating him about the hearing.

Addressing the judge, Zahir Jaffer said his senior counsel was not present in the courtroom. Later, a police official told the accused, “we had advised you not to speak before the judge.”

When mediapersons tried to interact with the accused, an assistant sub inspector abruptly said: “He is a very talented young man”, and then proceeded to escort him to the police vehicle.

According to the FIR, the complainant and his wife had been away separately for errands. He said when they returned home, their daughter was not there, adding that his wife tried to contact her on her mobile phone but it was switched off. Later, Noor called herself and told them that she was going to Lahore with her friends and would return in a day or two and that they should not worry, Mr Mukadam said in the FIR.

On July 20, he received a call in the afternoon from the accused who told him that Noor was not with him, the FIR said, adding that at around 10pm he was informed by Kohsar police that his daughter had been murdered and asked him to come to the police station.

“The police took him to the house where he found the beheaded body of his daughter,” the FIR added.

Placement of name on PNIL sought

The police have sought placement of the name of the accused on the Provincial National Identification List (PNIL).

Officers close to the investigation told Dawn on condition of anonymity that Zahir Jaffer was a dual national of US and Pakistan and held passports of both countries.

They said names of people wanted by the police were placed on the PNIL for 30 days.

The officers said police directly informed the immigration authorities to put the name of wanted people on the list, which they immediately did, whereas in case of the Exit Control List (ECL), the process was time consuming.

Explaining the ECL process, the officers said a request was made to the interior ministry, which then referred the matter to the cabinet for final decision. While putting the name on PNIL, approval from an authority was not required, they added.

Meanwhile, the investigating officer, Inspector Abdul Sattar, told Dawn that several items connected with the case, including mobile phones, had yet to be recovered.

The investigators are interrogating the accused for recovery of the items, including his passports, he added.

On the other hand, samples of the victim’s internal organs as well as nail scrapings had been handed over to the police who will send them for chemical examination, the investigators said, adding that DNA test would also be conducted to find out whether the woman was sexually assaulted.

A final report will be submitted once necessary details were received from the forensic department, the investigators said.

Published in Dawn, July 25th, 2021

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