KARACHI: An antiterrorism court has sentenced two muggers to 19 years in prison for robbing a citizen, encounter with police and possessing unlicensed weapons.

Gul Anwar and Babar were found guilty of engaging in an encounter with policemen with unlicensed pistols in the SITE area on March 17 last year.

The ATC-XX judge, who conducted the trial in the judicial complex inside the central prison, pronounced the judgement reserved after recording evidence and final arguments from the prosecution and defence.

The judge observed that there was sufficient evidence that the accused persons were apprehended and incriminating articles, including pistols as well as snatched cash and mobile phone of the complainant, were recovered from their possession by the police.

“In such situation, the accused are liable to be punished u/s 7(h) of ATA 1997”, ruled the judge sentencing them to a collective sentence of 19 years each.

The judge also imposed a collective fine of Rs80,000 on each convict. On default, each convict would undergo a collective sentence of 15-month additional imprisonment each.

State prosecutor Iqbal Meo argued that complainant Mohammad Yaseen was going on his motorcycle when two armed motorcyclists stopped him near main Metroville Road at midnight.

He further argued that the armed muggers snatched a mobile phone and Rs2,300 from the complainant and sped away towards Bawani Chali.

Mr Meo said the complainant informed a passing-by police party, which chased the accused, upon which the suspects opened fire on the cops.

The police returned fire and managed to arrest Anwar Gul with bullet wounds along with an unlicensed TT pistol, while his wounded accomplice Babar was dramatically handed over to police by the staff at a hospital, where he went for treatment, added the prosecution.

The prosecutor said both the accused, who appeared to be in their early 20s, were first offenders, having no previous criminal record.

However, he argued that the testimony of the victim and other witnesses, recovery of the looted articles and illegal weapons were fully supported by the forensic and medical evidence.

He pleaded to punish them according to the law.

On the other hand, both the accused denied the allegations leveled against them by the prosecution and pleaded innocence while recording their statements under Section 342 of the Criminal Procedure Code. But, they failed to produce any evidence or witness in their support.

Two separate cases were registered against them under Sections 392 (robbery), 397 (robbery or dacoity, with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 324 (attempted murder) 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 SITE-A police station on the complaint of Muhammad Yaseen.

Published in Dawn, Aug 2nd, 2023

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