Karachi: 6 indicted in ransom case
KARACHI: An anti–terrorism court on Wednesday indicted six suspects on charges of kidnapping a man for ransom in September 2006. The judge, Anand Ram Hotwani of ATC–III, who is conducting the trial, has summoned all the prosecution witnesses to testify in the case on the next date of hearing as the suspects have pleaded not guilty and opted to contest the case. Mohammad Yousuf, Masood Ahmed, Rashid Akhtar, Abdul Waheed, Mohammad Shoaib and Aftab are facing the charges of kidnapping Syed Abdul Raffay for ransom in the Korangi Industrial Area.
According to the prosecution, the suspects with their four absconding associates had intercepted Abdul Raffay at the Singer roundabout in the industrial area on Sept 29, 2006. They introduced themselves as police officials and took him away to an unknown place, and demanded a ransom of Rs10 million for his release.
Later, the captive himself settled the matter with the suspects and handed over to them a cheque for Rs1200,000.
They released the victim on Oct 2, 2006 after withdrawing the cash, it added.
The police registered two cases (FIRs 538/ and 259/06) against the suspects under sections 365-A and 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code, read with Section 7 of the Anti–terrorism Act, on the complaint of the victim at the Korangi Industrial Area police station.
Acting on the information provided by the complainant, the police raided Yousuf Plaza in Sohrab Goth on Oct 21, 2006 and arrested the suspects. Later, they were released on bail.
Ghulam Abbas, Asad Ali, Afaq Ahmed Khan, and Khushi Mohammad were declared absconders in the case. The investigation officer submitted the charge-sheet on Nov 16, 2006.
The court adjourned the proceedings till Nov 8, directing all the 16 prosecution witnesses to testify before court on the next hearing.
Meanwhile, ATC–II on Wednesday issued a non–bailable arrest warrant for a witness, Aziz–ur–Rahman, for not complying with the court`s orders, and directed police officials to arrest and produce him in court on the next hearing.
Earlier, the court had issued notices to him, but he did not turn up.
According to the prosecution, suspects Rashid Bloch alias Ustad and Saleem alias TT and their absconding associates had allegedly kidnapped Ghulam Abbas on June 20 in the Liaquatabad area and demanded a ransom of Rs1.5 million. The suspects released the victim the same day after collecting the ransom money.
Later, the police arrested Rashid Bloch and Saleem in Shah Latif Town.
A case (FIR 97/08) was registered under Section 365–A of the Pakistan Penal Code, read with Section 7 of the Anti–terrorism Act, at the Sharifabad police station. Bhutto Bangali and Shahid are absconders in case.