Islamabad police get one-day physical remand of senior journalist Ayaz Amir in Sara murder case

Published September 25, 2022
Senior journalist Ayaz Amir is being taken to Islamabad court by the police on Sunday. —Screengrab via Twitter video
Senior journalist Ayaz Amir is being taken to Islamabad court by the police on Sunday. —Screengrab via Twitter video

As police continued to investigate the murder of a Canadian national allegedly by her husband, a local Islamabad court approved on Sunday a one-day physical remand of senior journalist Ayaz Amir — the suspect’s father — for his alleged involvement in the crime at a Chak Shahzad residence.

On Friday, the police arrested the journalist’s son Shahnawaz Amir for allegedly killing his wife Sara Inam, 37, a day after she arrived from Dubai — where she had been working.

The incident took place at a farmhouse located in the capital’s Shahzad Town suburb where the suspect lived along with his mother.

On Saturday, Islamabad Police produced Shahnawaz in the court of Judicial Magistrate Mubasher Hasan Chishti and obtained his two-day physical remand.

Police had on Saturday also approached a local court seeking arrest warrants for Ayaz. He was taken into custody later in the day after the warrants were issued by the court.

At the hearing today, Ayaz and his son Shahnawaz, the prime suspect, were produced before judge Zahid Tirmizi.

The journalist informed the court that he had apprised the police of the murder, saying the police did not even had information about his farmhouse’s location.

His lawyer said Ayaz was not even nominated in the case. However, police insisted that the case was a high-profile one and pertained to a murder of a Canadian national. The investigation officer requested the court to grant a five-day physical remand of the journalist.

Ayaz expressed his disappointment before the court, saying he had been arrested “despite the fact that I provided information to the police”.

“Shahnawaz is a suspect and I have no sympathies for him,” he told the court.

The court asked the police the reasons for arresting the journalist. “Ayaz Amir was present in the wedding of his son in Chakwal and he concealed facts from his [latest] daugther-in-law,” the police responded.

Ayaz negated the claim, saying he had informed the deceased about his son’s previous marriage. “Shahnawaz is addicted to drugs,” he said while refraining from defending his son in court.

After hearing arguments, the court granted a one-day physical remand of the journalist.

“In order to investigate the alleged role of accused or to reveal the innocent/guilt (sic) in alleged offence, it is necessary that IO be granted physical custody of accused Therefore, for the purpose of investigation one day (01) day physical custody of accused is hereby granted, who is directed to get the accused medically examined from quarter concerned,” the court said in an order.

Police complainant in the case

Meanwhile, the police became a complainant in the case against Shahnawaz Amir despite the availability of a legal heir – Sara Inam’s uncle – and the complaint submitted by him in connection with the murder of his niece.

The autopsy by the police was also conducted in a discreet manner and an FIR was registered on the complaint of a police official in the early hours of Saturday.

Police came to know about Ikram Rahim — the uncle of the deceased — after a man approached them and shared Mr Rahim’s number with the investigation team. In response, Mr Rahim submitted a complaint with the police and alleged that Shahnawaz Amir allegedly murdered his wife in “connivance with his parents”.

The officers part of the investigation told Dawn that as per the uncle, the marriage of Sara Inam with the suspect was kept hidden from her parents which showed their alleged mala fide intentions. The police made the complaint part of the case file as a supplementary statement and added Section 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) to the FIR under which proceedings against the parents of Shahnawaz Amir were started.

According to police, the warrants against Mr Amir and his wife were obtained under Section 109 and attempts were underway to trace their whereabouts. They have gone into hiding and their cell phones are powered off, a police official claimed and added that efforts were underway to trace the parents of the suspect.

An initial probe into the case revealed that the deceased married the suspect three months ago. She arrived in the federal capital from Abu Dhabi, where she used to work, after Ayaz Amir and his wife — the parents of the suspect — asked her to come to Pakistan. They later took her to Chakwal where she got married with Shahnawaz Amir.

According to the investigation, a quarrel between the deceased and the suspect took place on Thursday over the ownership of a Mercedes car bought by Ms Inam. The police claimed that the suspect transferred the ownership of the car to his name without the knowledge of Ms Inam, which led to a spat between the two. On Friday morning, the couple had a quarrel again which ended in bloodshed.

According to the FIR, Shahzad Town police station SHO sub-inspector Nawazish Ali Khan, who is the complainant in the case, was present on Park Road near Chatha Bakhtawar when he got the information about the murder.

The FIR stated that when the police team reached the farmhouse where the murder had taken place they were received by the mother of the suspect who told them that her son had “murdered his wife during a scuffle”.

As per the FIR, she informed the police that her son was still present in the house. The police managed to enter the house and detained the suspect, it claimed, adding that the suspect’s hands were “soaked in blood” at the time of the arrest.

During the inquiry, the man identified himself as Shahnawaz Amir and told the police that he had murdered his wife with a dumbbell and hid her body in a bathtub in the bathroom, it claimed.

Police recovered the dead body on his information, the FIR said, adding that a wound was found on the head of the deceased. The police team also recovered the murder weapon from the house which was “hidden under a bed”, it added.

Subsequently, the body was moved to the Poly Clinic for autopsy and the murder weapon and the shirt of the accused were sent for a forensic audit.

Inspector General of Police Akbar Nasir Khan, Head of the Police Public Relations Branch DIG Headquarters Awais Ahmed and PRO Junaid Ishaq were approached for comments regarding police’s conduct in the case, but they did not respond despite multiple phone calls and messages.



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