Karachi: Man acquitted
KARACHI: An anti–terrorism court acquitted on Tuesday a man in extortion, police encounter and possessing illicit weapons cases. Abu Bengali along with his absconding accomplice Arshad alias K2 was charged with demanding protection money from a shopkeeper within the remit of the Khawaja Ajmer Nagari police station in September 2011 and attacking a police party to avoid arrest. Judge Ghulam Mustafa Memon of the ATC–III pronounced his verdict after hearing both sides. The court observed that the prosecution had examined four policemen and the complainant in the case, but there were glaring contradictions in their evidence.
It also failed to establish that the demand made by the accused was for protection money, the verdict said, adding that there was insufficient evidence to prove the charge of encounter and illicit weapons.
According to the prosecution, on Nov 9, 2011 the accused had demanded protection money from complainant Mohammad Yaqoob by extending threats and in the evening they came near Hub River Road to collect the money. However, when a waiting police team tried to arrest them, they opened fire on the police. One of the accused was arrested after an encounter while the other accused ran away under the cover of fire, it added.
The police also claimed to have recovered an unlicensed weapon and a book of receipts of Ahle Sunnet Khidmat Committee (trust) in the custody of the accused.
However, the defence side submitted that the accused were not extorting money, but they were associated with a charity.
The accused were booked under Sections 384, 324, 353 and 34 of the PPC and 13-D of the Arms Ordinance.