Karachi: PW identifies all accused in youth murder case
KARACHI: A prosecution witness who said he saw the killing of an unarmed youth inside a Clifton park on June 8 rightly picked out all seven accused before an anti-terrorism court on Tuesday and attributed their roles. Six personnel of Pakistan Rangers, Sindh and a civilian — Bahaur Rehman, Liaquat Ali, Mohammad Tariq, Manthar Ali, Shahid Zafar, Afzal Khan and Afsar Khan — have been charged with the murder of the unarmed youth, Sarfraz Shah.
Eyewitness Abdul Rasheed, a deputy district officer of the city government’s parks department, deposed that on the directives of his superiors, he reached the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Park on June 8 at around 4:30pm in connection with the arrangements for a TV programme, which was scheduled to be shot there.
Pointing at accused Afsar Khan, he said that he saw that the accused collared a youth and hauled him towards the food court area in the park and handed him over to the Rangers men.
He testified that the Rangers personnel gathered around the youth and started shouting at him when he begged for his life. Pointing at Shahid Zafar, the witness deposed that he on the directives of the co–accused fired two shots at the victim. The youth bled profusely and kept begging for mercy and asking the personnel to take him to a hospital. He said that he was so shocked that he left the park.
The eyewitness also identified all the accused and assigned their roles in the commissioning of the offence. Earlier on June 15, he along with another eyewitness recorded the statements under Section 164 of the criminal procedure code before a magistrate and also identified the accused. The prosecution also examined two other witnesses on Tuesday.
Dr Ayaz of the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre deposed that the victim was shifted to the hospital in a critical condition. He sustained bullet wounds and was referred to the chief medical officer, but the victim died during treatment. The witness also produced the cause of death certificate in court.
Sub-Inspector Nasrullah testified that the investigation of two FIRs lodged against the victim was assigned to him. He had inspected the place of the incident and recorded the statements of some witnesses under Section 161 of the CrPC. Later, the investigation was transferred on the directive of the Supreme Court, he concluded. The counsel for Afsar Khan also cross-examined the witnesses.
However, the lawyers for other accused were not present in court on Tuesday and Judge Bashir Ahmed Khoso of the ATC-I gave an opportunity to the accused to cross-examine the prosecution witnesses. But they remained silent. The judge adjourned the hearing till Wednesday.
When the case came up for hearing around 11am on Tuesday, two defence counsel sent applications through their subordinates and sought adjournment.
However, the court observed that the apex court had already given the direction to this court to conclude the trial within 30 days while the witnesses were also consistently appearing during the last two to three hearings. Thus, the court said, the case would be taken up again on 2pm and directed the defence lawyers through their juniors to appear in court. However, three of the four defence lawyers were unable to attend the court.
A case was registered against the accused under Sections 302 (premeditated murder), 36 (effect caused partly by act and partly by omission) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 on a complaint of the victim’s brother at the Boat Basin police station.