Islamabad: Accused in Bhatti murder case set free
ISLAMABAD: An anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi on Wednesday released a man arrested by the police in connection with the murder of former minister Shahbaz Bhatti. Police said when Malik Abid was produced in the ATC, Mr Bhatti’s cousin Tahir Naveed Chaudhry told the judge that neither he had nominated the accused in the case nor leveled any allegation of killing against him. He said the police had itself arrested him.
Police said they had also produced the accused before the same court on Tuesday with a request to release him but the judge directed that the complainant should be produced.
A policeman was sent to Faisalabad on Tuesday evening to bring the complainant to the court. Meanwhile, sources close to the investigation said investigators had identified two more persons in connection with the murder case. They were identified through the pamphlets found at the spot where the minister was gunned down in March last year.
The Urdu pamphlets stated that the minister was killed as he headed a committee constituted to review the blasphemy law. The pamphlets claimed that ‘Tanzim Al Qaida Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan Punjab’ was behind the killing. A message was also conveyed through the pamphlets that any sort of blasphemy or change in the blasphemy law would not be tolerated.
The sources said such pamphlets with similar statements were also found at Gojra after an attack on the Christian community in August 2009. Some people were burnt alive while around 50 houses torched in that incident.
However, the pamphlets thrown there also carried the name of a local Pir, the sources said. When the police interrogated the Pir, he said two of his disciples might be involved in the incident.
One of the disciples hailed from Lahore and the other from Gojra, the sources said, adding the Pir had expelled them for their ‘dirty deeds’. The investigators have also started tracing them for interrogation in connection with the killing of the minister.