KARACHI: An anti-terrorism court on Thursday allowed police to take custody of an undertrial prisoner (UTP) for interrogation in the Arshad Pappu murder case.
Arshad Pappu, the alleged leader of a Lyari gang, his brother Yasir Arafat and their confidant Juma Shera were killed in the early hours of March 17.
The police filed an application in the court seeking permission to take custody of Shahjahan Baloch, who had been in jail custody in some other cases pending before the court, for interrogation in the Arshad Pappu murder case as he had been named in the FIR.
Judge Ghulam Mustafa Memon of the ATC-III allowed the plea and issued a no-objection certificate to the police.
According to the FIR lodged on a complaint of Arshad Pappu’s widow, the alleged gangster along with his 10-year-old son, brother and a confidant went to attend a party in Defence Housing Authority on March 16. The widow stated in the FIR that her son came back home around midnight and informed her that some 20 men in two vehicles had come to the flat of his father’s friend in Defence and taken his father and two others away.
The FIR stated that Arshad Pappu’s son managed to identify the abductors as Zubair Baloch, a brother of Uzair Jan Baloch, Noor Mohammad alias Baba Ladla, his brother Zahid Ladla, Asif, Faisal Pathan and Zakir Dada.
The complainant said that the victims were killed after being subjected to torture and the bodies of her husband and his brother were thrown into manholes in the Kalakot area after being mutilated.
She alleged that the offence was committed at the behest of Shahjahan Baloch.
Shahjahan, a former union council nazim in Lyari, has been in jail in over 30 cases lodged against him along with the leadership of the banned People’s Amn Committee (PAC) for allegedly putting up resistance during the Lyari operation conducted in April-May last year and allegedly attacking and killing personnel of law enforcement agencies.
The Arshad Pappu murder case was lodged under Sections 302 (premeditated murder), 365 (kidnapping with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person), 297 (trespassing on burial place, etc), 392 (robbery), 109 (abetment) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act at the Kalakot police station.
Arshad Pappu was booked in around 60 cases, including murder, kidnapping, attempted murder, illicit weapons and extortion, at different police stations in the city.
However, he was never convicted in any case since mostly key witnesses either did not turn up to testify against him or turned hostile before the courts.
He was released from prison in Balochistan in the middle of February 2012. He was acquitted in what appeared to be the last case against him on Feb 29, 2012 pertaining to the murder of transporter Faiz Mohammad aka Mama Fazu, the father of PAC chief Uzair Baloch. Faiz Mohammad was killed in January 2003 in the Chakiwara area of Lyari and Arshad Pappu got bail in the case in May 2011.