Karachi: 2 booked for firing at police bus released
KARACHI: The administrative judge of the anti-terrorism courts in Karachi on Wednesday released two suspects in the police bus attack case and directed the city police chief to hold an inquiry against the SHO of the Zaman Town police station for lodging a fake FIR.
The police claimed that the two suspects — Abdul Hakeem and Atif alias Asif — were apprehended at the crime scene and weapons were found in their possession. They were in police custody on physical remand since Aug 22.
On Wednesday, the police produced the suspects before the administrative judge of the ATCs, Justice Maqbool Baqar of the Sindh High Court, in his chamber.
Later, Special Public Prosecutor Arshad Iqbal Cheema told reporters that a lawyer along with some family members of suspect Atif had earlier submitted some documents of a private hospital in court stating that the suspect was under treatment at a hospital when the incident took place. The court handed over the documents to the investigation officer of the case, Inspector Sohail Ahmed Khan of the Saudabad police station, and directed him to verify them, he added.
He said on Wednesday the IO submitted a report under Section 169 (release of accused when evidence deficient) of the criminal procedure code in court stating that the documents were found to be authentic as the suspect was in the operating theatre of the Chiniot Hospital at Korangi 31/2 when the incident took place. Besides, he stated, during the investigation no solid evidence was found against the suspect, and therefor he be released.
Subsequently, said the prosecutor, the court summoned Sub-Inspector Hanif Abbasi of the Zaman Town police station who had authored the FIR and memos of the arrest and recovery. The SI appeared in court on Wednesday and deposed that he was not on duty on the night of the incident and the following morning the SHO called and asked him to reach the police station.
The prosecutor said that the SI told the court that when he reached the police station he saw that the FIR was ready, the memos were prepared and the suspects along with the recovered weapons were also present.
According to Mr Cheema, the SI informed the court that he was forced to sign the FIR and documents and he did the same to save his job.
After hearing the statement of the SI, the administrative judge, while accepting the IO’s report, ordered the release of suspect Atif.
The court also ordered the police to release the other suspect, Abdul Hakeem, in the light of the statement of the SI, the prosecutor said.
The court also ordered the city police chief to conduct an inquiry against SHO Syed Shakil Ali of the Zaman Town police station for lodging a fake FIR, preparing false memos and framing the suspects in the present case, the prosecutor concluded.
According to the prosecution, at least four people, including three policemen, were killed and 30 others wounded when a group of 15 to 20 armed motorcyclists opened fire on a bus carrying dozens of policemen on the night of Aug 19 at Charka Goth in Korangi.
Furqan, Sagheer Ahmed, Aqeel, Zahid alias Tailor, Tanveer, Saleem and Nadeem were the absconding accused in the case, while another suspect was killed in the retaliatory fire, it added.
A case (FIR 434/2011) was registered under Sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 324 (attempted murder), 302 (premeditated murder), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon) and 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 at the Zaman Town police station.