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KARACHI, April 11: Judge Aley Maqbool Rizvi of the anti-terrorism court No 1 sentenced a worker of the banned Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) to death on Friday for killing Maulana Salim Qadri, the chief of the Sunni Tehrik, and five others.

The judge, who conducted the trial inside the Central Prison Karachi, also ordered Mohammed Faisal alias Faisal Pehalwan to pay Rs175,000 as Diyat (compensation) to the heirs of the victims.

The convict embraced his two partymen, both co-accused with him in another case, across the bars as the judge announced the judgment at 10:30am in the only courtroom inside the main block of the jail.

The ST chief and five others were killed on May 18, 2001 in Baldia Town in an ambush while they were being driven to a mosque for Juma prayers.

The dead included Hafiz Anis Qadri, 23, nephew of the ST chief, and Mohammed Altaf Husain Junejo, brother-in-law of Maulana Saleem Qadri, Hafeez Raza, gunman, and Abid Baloch, driver of the victims’ car.

One of the alleged assailants, later identified as Arshad Polka, was also killed in the firing.

The Saeedabad police had registered the case against Arshad Polka and unknown activists of the SSP on the complaint of Mohammed Iqbal Qadri, elder brother of the slain ST chief.

The police submitted the final charge-sheet in the case in mid-2002 following the arrest of Faisal Pehalwan.

The police showed Dr Mehmood, Ahmed, Naeem and Asif Ramzi as absconders in the case. The court declared them absconders on August 5, 2002.

The court appointed Mohammed Ashraf Mughul at state expenses for defending accused Faisal, who was formally indicted in the case on August 10, 2000.

Special public prosecutor Abdul Waheed Khan examined in all 14 prosecution witnesses, including an eyewitness, who had identified the accused before a judicial magistrate and as well as in the trial court.

Referring to the deposition of the eyewitness in his 14-page judgment, the judge observed: “PW Ahsan Ali in his statement has clearly stated that he has witnessed the incident and has seen accused Mohammed Faisal firing along with his companions upon the deceased persons who were going to the mosque for Juma prayers in the double cabin and the entire incident has been narrated and he has fully implicated the accused in the present crime.”

The judge further observed that the accused had even been identified in the court and that “the evidence of PW Ahsan Ali could not be shattered in any manner.”

DOUBLE-MURDER CASE: Judge Haq Nawaz Baloch of the anti- terrorism court No 5 put off the hearing of a double-murder case against the chief of the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, Akram Lahori, and two others.

The judge, who is conducting the trial on the premises of the Central Prison, fixed Saturday for recording the statements of prosecution witnesses after the defence counsel completed the cross-examination of a prosecution witness.

The judge had reserved the cross-examination of prosecution witness Baber Tirmizi at the request of defence counsel M. R. Syed as he was engaged in another case.

The case against the Lashkar chief, Akram Lahori, and his men, Ataullah and Mohammed Azam, pertained to the killing of Anver Tirmizi and Zulfiqar Haider in an attack on March 11 last year in the police limits of Shah Faisal Colony.

Special public prosecutor Syed Nadeem Hussain Shah had examined Baber Ali Tirmizi, brother of deceased Anver Tirmizi, as PW.