KARACHI: An antiterrorism court on Monday remanded a former SHO of the Orangi Town police station in judicial custody in a case pertaining to unlawful use of a weapon that the police claimed to have recovered from a teenage student after killing him in an alleged fake encounter.

Inspector Azam Gopang was held for allegedly foisting a fake recovery of a pistol on victim Arsalan Mehsud.

On Dec 7, Constable Toheed, who was in plain clothes, along with his civilian friend Umair allegedly gunned down Arsalan Mehsud and wounded his friend Yasir near the Qatar Hospital in Orangi Town.

On Monday, the investigating officer produced the held policeman before the administrative judge of the ATCs on expiry of his physical remand and requested for an extension in the same.

The IO informed the court that a pistol recovered from the suspect had been sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory for a ballistic analysis. Other accomplices of the suspects, who were believed to be at large, were yet to be arrested while vehicles used in the offence were also needed to be recovered, he added.

Opposing the request for remand extension, Gopang’s counsel Abid Zaman requested the judge to remand his client in judicial custody since he was no more required to be probed by police.

After hearing arguments, the judge sent the suspect to prison on judicial remand.

Initially, the police claimed that the victim, who was returning from a tuition centre in Nazimabad, was a criminal. But after widespread condemnation on social media and protests by relatives and community members, it emerged that the encounter was fake.

Later, the constable and his civilian friend were arrested and a case under Section 302 (premeditated murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code was registered against them.

Separately, another case was registered against Inspector Gopang under Section 24 of the Sindh Arms Act (punishment for possessing arms with intent to use for unlawful purposes) on behalf of the state.

Published in Dawn, December 21st, 2021

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