KARACHI: An antiterrorism court has acquitted a suspected gangster in a case pertaining to possession of explosives, illicit weapons and an attack on a raiding party of law enforcement agencies for lack of evidence.

Nisar Ahmed alias Mullah Nisar— said to be initially associated with chief of the outlawed Peoples Amn Committee and the Lyari kingpin Uzair Baloch but later parted ways due to some differences — was charged with allegedly attacking the personnel of law enforcement agencies when they raided in a Lyari locality to arrest the accused and his accomplices in January 2014.

After conducting the trial and recording the evidence of witnesses as well as final arguments from both sides, the ATC-III judge exonerated the accused for lack of evidence.

However, he will remain behind bars since his lawyer stated that he is facing trial in over 40 cases. So far, he has been acquitted in seven cases.

According to the prosecution, acting on a tip-off, Rangers and police had conducted a raid near Bakra Piri in Lyari on January 24, 2014. The accused along with his accomplices had opened fire at the personnel of paramilitary force as well as police and a suspect, Aslam, was killed in the shootout while Mullah Nisar along with some other suspects had managed to escape.

A case was registered at the Kalakot police station against the accused and his accomplices under several provisions of the Pakistan Penal Code, Explosive Substances Act and Anti-Terrorism Act as the police said that explosives and illicit weapons were found from the slain suspect.

The prosecution further maintained that the accused was a key character of the Lyari gang warfare and had been arrested in December 2022 during a joint operation of Rangers and police when he returned home from a neighbouring country to organise his gang while he was involved in several cases of targeted killings, police encounters, terrorism, extortion, etc.

Defence counsel Abid Zaman said that the court acquitted the accused in the present case since the prosecution had failed to establish the charges beyond a shadow of reasonable doubt.

Published in Dawn, April 22nd, 2024

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