Karachi: Teenage blasphemy suspect case being probed
KARACHI, Feb 24: The issue of police jurisdiction and appointment of an investigation officer was resolved on Thursday when the police informed a court that a new case had been registered against a teenage blasphemy suspect at the relevant police station and permission acquired to obtain his custody from the prison for fresh investigations.
A superintendent of police deputed to investigative the case filed an application before a judicial magistrate and got a no-objection certificate (NOC) to secure custody of the suspect from the juvenile section of the Central Prison Karachi, where he was confined.
Samiullah, a first-year pre-engineering student, has been charged with making blasphemous remarks about the Prophet (peace be upon him) in answer sheets of his intermediate examination in April last year.
The 17-year-old suspect was picked up from his home in Mujtaba Town, Malir, on Jan 28 after a complaint was lodged against him by the Board of Intermediate Education, Karachi. The following day, a judicial magistrate sent the suspect to the juvenile prison on judicial remand and directed the police to submit a charge-sheet within 14 days.
The superintendent of police, Misal Khan, informed a judicial magistrate (central) that initially a case was registered against the suspect at the Shahrah-i-Noorjahan police station on a written complaint of the BIEK.
However, he said the prosecution team of district central returned a charge-sheet filed against the suspect and observed that it was mistakenly mentioned in the charge-sheet that the alleged crime was committed within the remit of the Shahrah-i-Noorjahan police station. In fact, the examination centre of the suspect was situated within the jurisdiction of the Sharea Faisal police station.
Therefore, the SP stated that a new case (FIR 165/2011) was registered against the suspect under Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code at the Sharea Faisal police station and the investigation of the case was assigned to him.
He submitted an application in court, saying that the custody of the suspect was needed for investigation and since this court had remanded him in jail custody, he requested the magistrate to issue an NOC authorising him to get the custody from the prison.
The magistrate allowed the plea, issued an NOC and directed the jail authorities to hand over the custody of the suspect to the police officer.
After getting the custody from the prison, the police would produce the suspect before the judicial magistrate to get his physical remand.
Earlier, a sub-inspector of the Shahrah-i-Noorjahan police station submitted the charge-sheet in the office of the district attorney (central), but the prosecutors did not entertain it and pointed out that no police officer below the rank of a superintendent was authorised to investigate such a case. Besides, a mistake about the police station was also made in the charge-sheet.
According to the prosecution, the suspect was a first-year pre-engineering student in a private college.
He allegedly made blasphemous remarks in the answer sheets of the Physics and Islamic Studies papers during the annual examinations of intermediate held in April 2010.
It alleged that during an initial interrogation, the suspect had confessed to having committed the crime and stated that a few weeks before the examination, a couple of his cousins living in Norway had come to Pakistan, and during their stay here they used to influence his religious beliefs and tried to persuade him to commit such an offence.
Initially, a case (FIR 56/2011) was registered against the suspect under Section 295-C (use of derogatory remarks in respect of the Holy Prophet) of the PPC at the Shahrah-i-Noorjahan police station.