Karachi: Witness identifies Rangers men
Karachi: A prosecution witness in Sarfaraz Shah’s extrajudicial killing case identified the defendant Rangers personnel and a private contractor before the trial court on Saturday as the people responsible for the killing of the youth.
An anti-terrorism court is conducting the trial against Rangers Sub-Inspector Bahur Rehman, Lance Naik Liaquat Ali, constables Mohammad Tariq, Minthar Ali, Shahid Zafar, Mohammad Afzal and private contractor Afsar Khan, who have been charged with murdering 22-year-old Sarfaraz Shah with their common intention in the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Park in the Clifton area on June 8.
According to the prosecution, Sarfaraz Shah, a brother of a local TV journalist, was killed by the Rangers personnel in cold blood on June 8 when he was handed over to them by the private contractor Afsar Khan, accusing him of committing theft and looting.
However, TV footage of Sarfaraz’s killing showed that the Rangers personnel shot the unarmed Shah twice and after injuring him seriously they let him die without shifting him to hospital for medical treatment.
Zahid Essa Khokhar, the bureau chief of a local TV channel, deposed that he was present along with his team at Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Park to conduct a TV program on June 8 when he saw that a private person was beating up a young man and later he dragged him towards a Rangers mobile that had entered from the gate.
He said that he asked his cameraman Salam Soomro to record the incident in which Rangers personnel surrounded the unarmed person. He said that suddenly one tall Rangers man fired two shots and injured the youth.
The witness said that after the incident he completed the TV program and later submitted the footage to the concerned news department that aired this footage. He identified all the defendants as the people who were involved in the killing of the unarmed youth.
During cross examination, he said that although he completed the program after the incident, he remained mentally disturbed during the program and suggested that the Rangers personnel’s act was terrorism. He said that he and his cameraman had been receiving threats of dire consequences and he has also approached Supreme Court, National Assembly and Senate for protection.
Meanwhile, the ATC headed by Judge Bashir Ahmed Khoso allowed the application of defence counsel, seeking re-calling three prosecution witnesses for cross-examination. However, the judge reserved order on the defence application for inspection of the place of the incident by the court. The hearing of the case has been adjourned till Monday.
The Rangers personnel and the private contractor were arrested under the anti terrorism law and murder charges under the Pakistan Penal Code following the observation of the Supreme Court that took suo moto notice over the brutal murder of Sarfaraz Shah in the vicinity of Shaheed Benazir Park in Clifton area on June 8. The case has been registered against the accused at Boat Basin police station under sections 302, 34, and 36 of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the Anti Terrorism Act.