KARACHI, March 6: An anti-terrorism court sentenced two activists of the banned Jundullah group to death in the rangers’ mobile van attack case. The two accused were also handed down multiple terms of rigorous imprisonment.
Judge Feroze Mehmood Bhatti of the ATC-2 awarded death penalty to Ataur Rehman and Shahzad Ahmed Bajwa for killing a Rangers’ sepoy and a passer-by during the attack on March 19, 2004.
According to prosecution, four Jundullah men came around 3:40pm in a hijacked Corolla (GS-0345) beneath the Baloch Colony Bridge where the mobile van (GS-87-1989) was deployed.
The attackers opened indiscriminate firing on the van and one of them also hurled handgrenade on law-enforcers. Ishitaq Hussain, a rangers’ sepoy, and a passerby, Kashif, were killed and Havildar Mohammed Muneer, Naik Mushaque Ahmed of the rangers were injured in the attack.
The police registered a case initially against unknown culprits on the complaint of Havildar Mohammed Muneer.
Later on June 13, 2004, accused Ataur Rehman and Shahzad Bajwa were arrested and charge-sheeted in the case. Two other Jundullah men, Fasih alias Hammad and Shahab were shown absconders.
Besides condemning the two Jundullah men to death for killing two people under Section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code, the judge also ordered each of them to pay Rs100,000 to the legal heirs of the each victim.
The defaulter on the payment would have to undergo a six-month term, the judge ordered.
The judge sentenced the two Jundullah men to suffer a 10-year term for causing damage to the Rangers’ vehicle. They were also fined Rs20,000 each, and the defaulter on would have to undergo an additional six-month term.
They were handed down another 10-year term and a fine of Rs50,000 each for “intimidating” the rangers. The judge ordered that the convicts would have to undergo an additional six-month term in case of default on the payment.
Judge Bhatti also sentenced the two Jundullah men to suffer a seven-year term for injuring Naik Mushtaq under Section 7 (H) of the Anti-terrorist Act, 1997.
The two were handed down a seven-year term and a three-year term for causing injuries to complainant Havildar Mohammed Muneer.
Shahzad Bajwa was found guilty of hurling grenade on the rangers mobile during the attack. The judge sentenced him to life imprisonment and ordered confiscation of his entire moveable and immoveable property.
The prosecution, represented by Special public prosecutor Maula Bux Bhatti, examined 19 prosecution witnesses, who included Havildar Muneer, complainant, driver of the attacked van sepoy Sikander Ali, injured Naik Mushtaq, sepoy Shakeel, sepoy Willayat Khan, sepoy Riaz Ahmed and constable Mohammad Abil Ali, who was sitting at nearby eatery at the time of attack.
Five of the prosecution witnesses identified the two Jundullah men as attackers during an identification parade before a judicial magistrate.
The case property included as many as 56 empties, two magazines, six projectiles, two splinters, two pins and a ring of hand-grenade.