KARACHI: An antiterrorism court on Monday sentenced the teenage son of a senior police officer and his four guards to life in prison for killing his classmate in the Defence Housing Authority in 2014.

Salman Abro, the prime accused along with police guards of his father, SSP Ghulam Sarwar Abro, was found guilty of shooting to death his classmate Suleman Lashari and wounding his private guard Ghulam Mustafa Bugti after breaking into the victim’s house on the night of May 8, 2014.

Four convicted former police constables include Maqbool Ahmed Brohi, Imran Ali Arain, Yaseen Jamali and Muhammad Rashid Gujjar.

Abro was tried separately for being juvenile.

ATC finds Abro guilty of killing classmate Suleman Lashari in his home in 2014

The incident had triggered a debate on the social media about the highhandedness of the children of the elite families demonstrating powers in a brutal manner.

On Monday, the ATC-VII judge, who conducted the trial in the judicial complex inside the central prison, pronounced his verdict after recording evidence and final arguments from both sides.

The judge noted that the prosecution had successfully proved the charges against the accused persons.

The judge ruled that as per the scheme of Section 12 of the Juvenile Justice System Ordinance, 2000, no death penalty could be recorded and awarded to the juvenile offender, thus by virtue of law keeping in view the said scheme, the juvenile accused Salman Abro is awarded life imprisonment.

He also awarded four-year imprisonment to each accused for injuring the victim’s security guard and damaging his house. The court imposed a collective fine of Rs250,000 on each convict.

In February 2015, the court had formally indicted the accused persons in the case, but the trial took seven years to conclude.

During the trial, the prosecution examined some 18 witnesses, including the victim’s mother, his elder brother and brother-in-law, against the accused persons.

On the other hand, the defence examined four witnesses, all police officials, who are also facing trial as co-accused, to depose in favour of prime accused Abro.

According to the prosecution, Lashari was studying in his balcony at around midnight when Abro and his police guards came to settle a dispute and opened fire at him. The guards deployed at the victim’s house retaliated, injuring Abro while his guard Constable Zaheer Rind also died in the exchange of gunfire.

Prosecutors Neel Parkash and Ali Raza Abbasi represented the state, Salahuddin Panhwar appeared on behalf of the complainant and Asadullah Shah Rashidi and Mushtaq Ahmed represented the defence side.

A case was registered under Sections 302 (premeditated murder), 324 (attempted murder), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 (punishment for acts of terrorism) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 at the Darakhshan police station on the complaint of the victim’s brother, Zeeshan Mustafa Lashari.

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2022

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