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— File Photo by Online

KARACHI: Declaring the prime suspect in the Shahzeb murder case an underage person, an anti-terrorism court on Saturday sent Shahrukh Jatoi to the juvenile jail on judicial remand till Jan 29.

The court also remanded three other suspects — Nawab Siraj Ali Talpur, his younger brother Nawab Sajjad Ali Talpur and their house servant Ghulam Murtaza Lashari — in judicial custody.

All the four suspects have been booked and arrested for allegedly killing 20-year-old Shahzeb in the Defence Housing Authority on the night of Dec 24.

Following the expiry of their physical remand, Investigation Officer Mohammad Mobeen produced the suspects before the ATC-III.

The court had earlier ordered an ossification test to determine the age of prime suspect Shahrukh.

On Saturday, the IO submitted the report of the ossification test, which was prepared by police surgeon Dr Jalil Qadir.

According to the report, “As per ossification of bones the age of Shahrukh Jatoi is 17-18 years (nearest 18 years)”.

The IO stated that two eyewitness had picked out Shahrukh on Jan 19 during an identification parade before a magistrate.

He submitted that on Jan 23 the police recovered a vehicle and an unlicensed 9mm pistol used in the commissioning of the crime on a lead given by Shahrukh and thus he was booked in another case (FIR 32/13) under Section 13-E of the Pakistan Arms Ordinance 1965 at the Darakhshan police station.

Interestingly, the IO sought the custody of the suspects till Jan 29 in a written application, but he verbally said that the investigations had been completed and the custody of the suspects was no more required.

Judge in charge of the ATC-III Bashir Ahmed Khoso sent Shahrukh to the Youthful Offenders’ Industrial School (juvenile jail) and the remaining three suspects to the Karachi central prison on judicial remand till Jan 29.

The court directed the IO to submit a charge-sheet against them on the next date.

According to the prosecution, the victim had an altercation with the suspects since they tried to tease his sister and later the issue was settled by some elders, but the suspects killed the victim by opening indiscriminate fire on his vehicle on the night of Dec 24 in DHA Phase V.

Initially, the case (FIR 591/12) was registered under Sections 302 (premeditated murder), 109 (abetment) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code on a complaint of the deceased’s father Aurangzeb, a deputy superintendent of police, at the Darakhshan police station. However, during the investigation, Section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modestly) of the PPC and Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 were incorporated in the FIR.

Asif Lund and Salman Jatoi are absconding suspects in the case.

The counsel for Shahrukh had submitted applications about production of spent bullet casings and the ‘illegal’ arrest of his client.

However, since the case was heard by a link judge on Saturday, these pleas were not taken up for hearing.

The Supreme Court has also taken suo motu notice in the present case and the matter is fixed before the apex court on Jan 29.