Karachi: 6 Rangers men, park employee sent to jail
KARACHI: Six personnel of Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, and a civilian were remanded on Friday in judicial custody till Saturday in the June 8 gruesome murder of an unarmed young man.
Following the expiry of their physical remand, the police produced all the seven suspects — Sub-Inspector Bahaur Rehman, Lance Naik Liaquat Ali, Sepoy Mohammad Tariq, mobile van driver Manthar Ali, Shahid Zafar, Afzal Khan and an employee of the park, Afsar Khan — before the administrative judge of the anti-terrorism courts in Karachi, Justice Maqbool Baqar of the Sindh High Court.
While the Supreme Court of Pakistan had appointed DIG Sultan Khawaja as the inquiry officer of the case on June 10 directing him to submit a charge–sheet in court within seven days, the investigation officer (IO) did not file the charge-sheet before the administrative judge on Friday. However, the IO informed the court that the custody of the suspects was no more required, as the police had completed investigations.
The administrative judge sent the suspects to prison on one-day judicial remand and directed the IO to submit a charge-sheet in court on June 18 (today).
Special Prosecutor Arshad Iqbal Cheema told Dawn that the Supreme Court of Pakistan had passed an order in this case on June 10, but it was officially communicated afterwards. “The apex court did not set June 17 as the deadline of filing a charge-sheet. The filing of the charge-sheet on June 18 is very much within the SC seven-day deadline,” he added.
Mr Cheema said he had to scrutinise all relevant documents, including statements of witnesses, memos of arrest and recovery, forensic evidence, etc, to be attached with the charge-sheet before filing it in court. “The scrutiny is quite necessary to avoid any lacuna at the time of trial.”
The youngster, Sarfraz Shah, was shot dead allegedly by Rangers personnel on June 8 inside the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Park within the remit of the Boat Basin police station.
The Rangers initially claimed that the youth was armed and was killed in an encounter. However, widely televised footage showed unarmed Sarfraz Shah being killed and then left to die by the Rangers personnel.
A case (FIR 227/2011) was registered at the Boat Basin police station on a complaint of the victim’s brother, Saalik Shah, under Section 302 (premeditated murder) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan took suo motu notice of the murder and ordered that the trial of the case be completed within 30 days. After the intervention of the apex court, the police authorities had incorporated Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997 in the FIR and got the remand of all the suspects from the administrative judge of ATCs.