KARACHI, March 12: A key prosecution witness in the Shahzeb murder case stated before an anti-terrorism court that the police had not recorded her testimony properly.
Two prosecution witnesses, a sister of the deceased and an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) of police, appeared before the anti-terrorism court on Tuesday and recorded their statements.
Maha Khan testified that after she and Shahzeb had returned from the valima reception of their sister and reached the main entrance of their apartment building, she walked to go upstairs while Shahzeb parked the car.
She further testified that she was trying to open the lock of their house door, when in the meantime the neighbour’s servant emerged and told her that she looked pretty. She said that she was shocked and stared at the servant with a confused expression.
Maha Khan said that the servant acted unusually and approached her with what she described as ‘a dirty expression in his eyes’, after which she asked him to back off and called her mother while the servant in the meantime went downstairs.
After a while, deposed the witness, she heard a commotion and went to a window, which opened towards the building reception and giving a view of the whole parking area. She said that she saw her father, Shahzeb and the accused persons and called the Madadgar police. In the meantime, she said, Shahzeb had left in his car while the accused persons embarked in their’s, as Shahrukh Jatoi — the main accused in the case — fired in the air introducing himself as the son of Sikandar Jatoi. Shahrukh had said that he would not spare Shahzeb, said Maha, adding that she had seen the accused a number of times in their apartment building before the incident.
She testified that after some time, her parents came up and proceeded towards the apartment of the accused. She said that her father emerged a few minutes later, saying that they had to go to the Ziauddin hospital. She stated that she felt a bit down near the reception and fainted, adding that the next moment she found herself in the hospital and noticed her brother’s body.
Pointing towards the accused present in accused box, Maha stated that they had committed the crime.
During cross-examination, she said it was correct to suggest that in her statement recorded under the Section 161 of the CrPC it is not written that she had heard commotion from the ground floor and had then opened a window towards the reception and parking area, but she argued that she had told all this to the police. She pointed out that in her statement, recorded by sub-inspector Nafees under Section 161 of the CrPC and shown to her in the court on Tuesday, it was also missing that she had seen Shahrukh many times in the apartment building before the incident, even though she had stated the same before police.
Responding to questions of defence counsel, Maha said that she had told the police that she had called the Madadgar police, had seen all accused get into their car, Shahrukh Jatoi did aerial firing and his allegedly saying that he would not spare her brother, and the servant looking at her with an ‘evil expression’ in his eyes, but they were not recorded in her in her 161 CrPC statement.
During further cross-examination, the female witness stated that she had not moved any application to higher authorities regarding the police not recording her statmet properly, adding that how could she know that her statement had not been recorded properly since it was never given to her or read over to her.
Meanwhile, the second key prosecution witness, ASI Rasheed Ahmed testified that that he along with his colleagues had been on patrolling duty when passersby informed them about the incident. He said that when he and his colleagues had arrived at the place of incident they were informed that the injured had been shifted to a hospital. He had inspected the place of incident on the following day, he added.
Judge Ghulam Mustafa Memon of the Anti-Terrorism Court-III, who was conducting the hearing on day-to-day basis, adjourned the hearing till Wednesday for recording the evidence of remaining witnesses. So far, the prosecution has examined five out of 53 witnesses.
Shahrukh Jatoi, Nawab Siraj Ali Talpur, his younger brother Nawab Sajjad Ali Talpur and their house servant Ghulam Murtaza Lashari have been indicted for allegedly killing 20-year-old Shahzeb in the Defence Housing Authority on the night of Dec 24.
A case (FIR 591/12) was lodged against the accused on the complaint of deceased’s father Aurangzeb, a deputy superintendent of police, at Darakshan police station.