Karachi: 4 sentenced to death in child kidnap case
KARACHI, Jan 21: An anti-terrorism court on Friday sentenced four men to death in a case pertaining to the kidnapping for ransom of a minor boy.
The court found Moar Buriro, Irshad Ahmed Lashari, Arz Mohammad alias Jalal Gorchani and Mohammad Hasan guilty of abducting three-year-old Arsh Nabi within the remit of the Defence police station in January 2010.
Judge Anand Ram Hotwani of the ATC-III pronounced the verdict after hearing both sides.
The court also ordered confiscation of movable and immoveable property of the convicts by the government.
The accused were also sentenced to seven and five years in prison for attacking some policemen with intent to kill them and possessing illicit weapons. They were also fined Rs100,000 and Rs50,000 each. In case of non-payment, they would undergo an additional three-year and one-year imprisonment.
The court ruled that the punishments of the imprisonment would run concurrently while the death sentence would be subject to the confirmation of the high court.
According to the verdict, the complainant and his friend, who delivered the ransom to the accused in Dera Allahyar, have identified the accused, adding that the case seems to be an outcome of a plan made by accused Moar as he was the driver of the complainant and knew his financial position and he tried to implement the plan with the connivance of the remaining accused.
The defence side took the plea that the accused were framed in the case at the instance of a DIG of police as the complainant was his close relative; however, the court observed that the defence had not been able to prove whether the DIG was posted in the city at the time of the offence, thus this argument was insufficient.
The court also discarded the contention of the defence lawyers that an FIR was registered after a sufficient delay and the identification of the accused was also not conducted, and ruled that these things were immaterial as the accused were caught red-handed and the victim and arms were also secured.
It further stated that one of the accused also examined witnesses in his defence, but it did not give any benefit to the accused.
“I have considered evidences of the prosecution as well as defence at par and found that the evidence of the prosecution is more inspiring than the defence,” the verdict concluded.
Earlier, in the final arguments, the defence lawyers highlighted contradictions in the evidence of witnesses and argued that the recoveries were foisted upon the accused as the prosecution failed to produce any solid evidence in this regard.
They contended that the demand for ransom was also not proved since call data was unauthentic as it was neither sealed nor singed by any authority.
They added that at the time of the alleged shoot-out no person received any wound from either side, thus the case of the alleged encounter was highly doubtful.
However, special public prosecutor Mubishar Mirza contended that the prosecution had examined eight witnesses and they fully supported the case.
He maintained that the accused were arrested red-handed and the captive was found in their custody, adding that two key prosecution witnesses also identified the accused in the open court and pleaded for maximum punishment.
According to the prosecution, the complainant`s driver, Moar Buriro, along with his three accomplices, kidnapped the boy on Jan 14 and demanded a ransom of Rs20 million.
Later, the amount was reduced to Rs1 million and the same was paid to the accused, but they did not release the victim and made more demand for ransom and on Jan 24 a team of the Anti-Violent Crime Cell (AVCC) conducted a raid near the Northern Bypass and arrested the accused after a shoot-out and recovered the child from their possessions. Illicit weapons were also found in the custody of the accused, it added.
A case (FIR No.50/2010) was registered under Sections 365-A (kidnapping for ransom) and 34 (common intention) of the PPC read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 at the Defence police station.
The same accused were also booked in five connected cases (11/10 to 15/10) registered under Sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 324 (attempted murder) and 34 of the PPC and Section 13-D of the Arms Ordinance at the AVCC police station.
The accused were brought to the court on Friday morning from prison and they were stunned when the court awarded them capital punishment and as soon as the judge read out the conviction order they chanted slogans against him.