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Two get interim bail in artefacts smuggling case

July 11, 2012


KARACHI, July 10: While a sessions court on Tuesday granted pre-arrest interim bail to two men said to be involved in the artefacts smuggling case, the city police took into custody a brother of one of the two suspects.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Hafiza Usman, who is the judge in charge of the district and sessions court (east), granted pre-arrest interim bail to the two suspects — Atif and Asif — against a surety bond of Rs50,000 each till July 16.

The court directed the suspects to ensure their presence in court on the next hearing.

As the police cannot arrest the two suspects till July 16, they took into custody Tahir Butt, a brother of suspect Asif Butt, in Gulshan-i-Iqbal later in the day.

Sub-Divisional Police Officer Majeed Abbas confirmed that Tahir was picked up in Gulshan-i-Iqbal on the information provided by the arrested driver and cleaner of the trailer carrying Gandhara civilisation artefacts and relics.

DIG-East Shahid Hayat said that the next hearing on the bail applications of the main suspects would take place on July 16.

“We hope that the court will reject the bail. Once police are able to obtain the remand of the main suspect further details about the background of the seized artefacts can become clear,” the DIG added.

Though the held brother was not nominated in the FIR, another senior police officer told Dawn that the brother of the main suspect was picked up to put pressure on the suspect to surrender himself before the police.

On July 6, the police had arrested driver Zafar and cleaner Asif Majeed of a container-mounted trailer within the remit of the Awami Colony police station for allegedly transporting a large number of Gandhara civilisation artefacts and relics to Sialkot. Later, they also recovered more artefacts in a warehouse in Korangi.

On July 7, a magistrate remanded the suspects in police custody till July 11 while Atif and Asif were shown absconders in the remand papers.

A case was registered against the suspects under Sections 26, 27, 29, 32 and 34 of the Antiquities Act at the Awami Colony police station.

Suspect remanded in doctor killing case An anti-terrorism court remanded on Tuesday another suspect in police custody in a doctor’s kidnapping and murder case.

Neurosurgeon Dr Aftab Qureshi was abducted within the remit of the Brigade police station for ransom on May 12 and killed on May 30 in an exchange of fire after police raided the captors’ house in Hyderabad.

Mohammad Irfan was produced before the ATC-I for remand and Judge Bashir Ahmed Khoso remanded him in police custody till July 16.

Dr Ashok Kumar, said to be a quack, Farooq, Azhar Ali, Imdad Ali, Hath Khan and Abdul Aziz have already been in jail in the present case.

They have been booked under Section 302 (premeditated murder), 365-A (kidnapping for ransom) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 on a complaint of the victim’s son.