Karachi: Release of suspects in Tahir Plaza case ordered
KARACHI: The administrative judge of the anti-terrorism courts in Karachi has ordered the release of two suspects allegedly involved in three cases pertaining to the April 9, 2008 Tahir Plaza arson attack after accepting a police report that said they obtained no evidence against the two men.
Syed Nadeem Hasan Zaidi and Wamiq Atiq Siddiqui were booked for their involvement in the April 9, 2008 Tahir Plaza tragic incident in which a lawyer was burnt alive along with his clients when the building was set on fire and incidents of rioting in and around city courts.
The investigation officer of the cases had submitted an application under Section 169 (release of accused when evidence deficient) of the criminal procedure code in court and stated that during the course of investigation no solid evidence was found against the suspects to link them with the alleged offences.
Besides, the IO said, two eyewitnesses had failed to identify the suspects during an identification parade conducted by a judicial magistrate.
The administrative judge of the ATCs, Justice Maqbool Baqar of the Sindh High Court, accepted the IO’s report and ordered the release of the suspects.
According to the prosecution, Advocate Altaf Abbasi along with his four clients was burnt to death at his Tahir Plaza office near the city courts when the building, which mostly housed lawyers’ offices, was set ablaze.
A case (FIR 78/08) was registered under Sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 435 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage etc.), 324 (attempted murder), 302 (premeditated murder) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 at the Risala police station.
The same suspects were also booked in two other cases pertaining to damage to property and vehicles in the April 9, 2008 violent incidents in and around the city courts.
The police said that the suspects were arrested within the remit of the Sharea Faisal police station on Sept 19 in some other cases and during interrogation they allegedly disclosed their involvement in these cases.