- CCTV footage obtained, shows victim trying to escape
- US embassy staff meets accused
- Physical remand of ‘killer’ extended for another two days
ISLAMABAD: In a late night development on Monday, Zahir Jaffer, who is accused of killing Noor Mukadam, confessed to committing the crime.
A police officer close to the investigation told Dawn on condition of anonymity that the accused made the confession during interrogation.
“A statement of Zahir Jaffer is being recorded and he will also be produced before a magistrate to record his statement under CrPC 164,” he said.
Police sources also revealed that the investigators had found footage from CCTV cameras installed in the neighbourhood.
“In the footage, the girl can be seen trying to escape from the house by jumping from the first storey and rushing towards the main gate,” the sources said.
They further said the woman hides herself in a guard’s room after finding the gate locked, adding that later the accused can be seen breaking into the room and dragging her back into the house.
Meanwhile, the US embassy staff met Zahir Jaffer on Monday, police officers told Dawn.
The embassy had requested the police for a meeting with the accused as he was a dual national of the US and Pakistan.
The officers said police highups discussed the matter and gave permission to the embassy staff for the meeting, which took place in the office of a senior police officer where the accused was brought from the Islamabad district and sessions courts.
During the first phase of the meeting, the embassy staff met the accused in the presence of a couple of senior police officers. Later, another round of discussions was held in the police officers’ absence.
A police officer also briefed the embassy officials about the case and the progress made so far, the officials said, adding that later the accused was shifted to the lockup in the Kohsar police station.
“I cannot comment on the case due to privacy concerns,” the US embassy spokesperson, Heather Eaton, said when contacted to seek details of the meeting.
She also refused to divulge any information when asked if the embassy was following the case or was in contact with any authority.
Inspector General of Police Qazi Jameelur Rehman, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Operation) Afzaal Ahmed Kauser and Senior Superintendent of Police (Investigations) Attaur Rehman were also asked similar questions, but they neither denied nor confirmed the meeting had taken place.
The IGP, however, said: “Let me check please”.
When contacted, Investigating Officer Inspector Abdul Sattar told Dawn that he was busy with some other work and that he was not with the accused or at the police station all the time.
On the other hand, investigators produced the alleged killer in the court of duty magistrate to obtain seven-day physical remand to recover mobile phones and other items as evidence.
The magistrate, however, extended the remand for two more days. The investigators have sought physical remand of the accused for the third time since he was taken into custody on July 20.
The mobile phones of the accused and the victim are still missing, the investigators said, adding that it had been established that the victim had her mobile phone till late in the evening of July 19, as she had talked to her father.
The investigators have been grilling Zahir Jaffer, his parents and guards in order to recover the mobile phones but so far they have remained unsuccessful, the police officers said.
Earlier, the police added four more sections of the Pakistan Penal Code to the FIR, mainly related to concealing and abetment, and arrested the alleged killer’s parents, Zakir Jaffer and Asmat Jaffer, as well as two household staffers.
So far it is yet to be established how the victim reached the house of the accused, the officers said.
According to the victim’s friend, the accused had called Noor Mukadam and asked her to come over to his house to bid goodbye as he was moving to the US. However, it is yet to be established.
To unearth more details in connection with the murder, the investigators are also approaching the victim’s family and relatives.
Published in Dawn, July 27th, 2021