According to police, Mohammad Imran was sitting at a shop near a bus stand in Danda village when three masked gunmen attacked him. — File Photo

RAWALPINDI: Only two days after the assassination of Minorities Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti in broad daylight, a poor man who had been accused in a blasphemy case and released last year, was gunned down on the outskirts of the city on Friday. According to police, Mohammad Imran, who was released along with his friend Sajid Mehmood on Feb 13 last year, was sitting at a shop near a bus stand in Danda village when three masked gunmen attacked him.

Sub-inspector Mehmood Ahmed, who heads the team investigating the murder, said that two of the attackers entered the shop owned by one Abdul Rehman, while the third stayed outside. “After spotting their target they opened fire, killing Imran on the spot and escaped,” he added.

Mohammad Akram, an elder brother of Imran, in his complaint suspected that Imdad Hussain, son of Altaf Hussain, of Ckak Baili, was behind the murder. Dawn

However, police have so far made no arrest. Akram told that the attackers were those who had sent his brother to jail in a concocted case. He was released after the prosecution had failed to produce any witness in the court.

Mr Akram said his brother's rivals had filed in the Rawalpindi bench of Lahore High Court a petition challenging his release.

He said that Imran had a wife and a little daughter and had been facing financial problems since he was involved in the case.

Imran and Mehmood were booked by police in a blasphemy case in April 2009 on a complaint lodged by one Asif Fareed who had accused them of passing 'insulting' remarks against the holy prophet (PBUH) during a discussion at a village café.