Karachi: 9 Shershah killing suspects released for want of evidence
KARACHI: The administrative judge of the anti-terrorism courts in Karachi on Wednesday released nine suspects in the Shershah scrap market carnage case for want of necessary evidence.
Mohammad Tufail, son of Mohammad Pervaiz, Abid Ali, son of Abdul Wahid, Tehseen, son of Mohammad Akbar, Abdur Rasheed, son of Peer Bukhsh, Johar, son of Sher Mohammad, Mohammad Aijaz, son of Kareem Bukhsh, Asghar Ali, son of Kareem Bukhsh, Mohammed Iqbal, son of Kareem Bukhsh, and Mohammed Akbar, son of Salman, had reportedly surrendered themselves to police on Jan 11 after they were nominated in an FIR as suspects.
The suspects, said to be associated with one of the several gangs operating in Lyari, had since been in police custody on physical remand.
On Wednesday, the investigation officer produced the suspects before the administrative judge of ATCs, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah of the Sindh High Court, and sought further extension in their physical remand.
Meanwhile, the complainant along with his lawyer also appeared before the judge on a court directive and failed to pick out any of the suspects when the judge asked him to identify them.
The court in its order observed that the suspects were nominated with their parentage in the FIR and according to the investigation officer they voluntarily surrendered themselves before the police. The order said that they were produced in court on Jan 12 and on the request of police they were remanded for one week and their physical remand on Jan 19 was extended till Jan 26.
After looking at the nature of the case, the court also ordered formation of a joint interrogation team. However, the police neither placed any material connecting the suspects with the commissioning of the crime on record nor conducted an identification parade. Thus, the complainant who had named the suspects in the FIR with parentage was directed to attend the court on Jan 26, it stated.
The court ruled that the IO again sought extension in remand up to Feb 2, but he did not produce any material to link them with the alleged offence and very clearly stated that despite his all possible efforts none of the eyewitnesses were ready to identify the suspects.
Though the complainant nominated the suspects in the FIR with parentage, he could not identify any of them and very candidly stated that he did not know any of them, the order said.
“In these circumstances, half-hearted request of the investigation officer for extending remand without any purpose is pointless when there is no material available on record to connect the present accused persons with commission of the crime, nor the witnesses are ready to identify them and even the complainant who had named the accused persons has denied their identification. Therefore, I direct the release of the accused persons under Section 497 (2) of the Cr. P. C. upon furnishing personal bond before the investigation officer,” it concluded.
According to Section 497(2) of the criminal procedure code, “if it appears to such officer or court at any stage of the investigation, inquiry or trial, as the case may be, that there are no reasonable grounds for believing that the accused committed a non-bailable offence, but that there are sufficient grounds for further inquiry into his guilt, the accused shall, pending such inquiry, be released on bail, or, at the discretion of such officer or court, on the execution by him of a bond without sureties for his appearance as hereinafter provided”.
The prosecution said that the suspects had carried out the Shershah scarp market carnage on Oct 19, 2010 that left 12 people dead and several others wounded.
Interestingly, four other suspects of this case, Lal Mohammad Magsi, Shafi Magsi, Pervez and Ali Nawaz, have already been in jail custody.
It is worth noting that while no identification parade was conducted for Lal Mohammad Magsi as he was held before the arrest of three others, two eyewitnesses of the case had failed to pick out Shafi Magsi, Pervez and Ali Nawaz during an identification parade held before the court of a judicial magistrate on Dec 31, 2010.
A case (FIR 578/2010) was registered under Sections 302 (premeditated murder), 324 (attempted murder), 386 (extortion by putting a person in fear of death or grievous hurt) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code and Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 at the Pak Colony police station on a complaint of a survivor, Mohammad Nafees.