ATC rejects bail pleas of four MQM-London activists

April 03, 2020

An anti-terrorism court on Thursday rejected the bail applications of four suspects, including a woman, charged with abetting the murder of two Pak Sarzameen Party activists in December...

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An anti-terrorism court on Thursday rejected the bail applications of four suspects, including a woman, charged with abetting the murder of two Pak Sarzameen Party activists in December 2018.

According to the prosecution, the accused are affiliated with the pro-Altaf Hussain faction of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, which is dubbed as MQM-London, and there is a blanket ban on its activities in the country.

The ATC-XII judge dismissed the bail pleas moved by Bisma Naz, Zameer-ud-Din, Tanzeem Ahmed and Syed Waqas Haider through their attorneys, observing that prima facie sufficient evidences were available against them.

Two PSP workers, Naeem Ramzan and Azhar Rehmatullah, were killed and as many, Fahad Hussain and Muhammad Yasir, were injured in firing by armed pillion riders on their party office in the Rizvia Society neighborhood on December 23, 2018.

Arguing in support of the bail pleas, the defence counsel said that their clients were implicated in the case on the basis of the statement of an accused, Mohsin Ahmed, which he gave under custody, and the prosecution did not have any independent witness or strong evidence to corroborate the allegations.

The lawyer for Naz said that the case against her client was politically motivated because she opposed the PSP opening a unit office in the Arsalan Homes Residency in North Karachi, of whose residents association she was the president. She added that her client was also being subjected to victimisation for pursuing the case of her missing husband. The lawyer said that Naz filed a petition in the Sindh High Court on April 3, 2019, and two days later, the police named her in the supplementary charge sheet of the case.

The other defence lawyer, representing the remaining three plaintiffs, said that their clients were picked up in separate cases pertaining to the possession of illicit weapons and later were implicated in this case on the basis of the statement of Mohsin. He added that the police did not brought on record any independent witness against them.

In opposition, Rangers special public prosecutor argued that Naz supplied the weapons to the shooters and after the commission of the offence hid them while Din provided shelter to the shooters in his factory and Tanzeem and Haider took care of their meals and other necessities.

The prosecutor said that on the day of the offence, Naz, her husband Asad Khan, Kashif Jameel and Qazi Anis-ur-Rehman travelled in a rickshaw to the PSP office while two assailants followed them on a motorbike. Upon reaching the neighborhood, Naz gave weapons to the assailants and waited nearby. After the attack, the assailants returned the weapons to Naz who along with her husband took them back to her residence while the rest of the accused went into hiding, the prosecutor asserted, citing the investigation report and the confessional statement of Ahmed.

The judge, after listening to the arguments from both sides, observed that the prosecution had a strong case against the accused, and in light of it granting bail could be damaging to the case; therefore, the pleas cannot be entertained.

Ten people are in custody in connection with the murders. They are Syed Raza Ali, Rehman, Sheharyar, Rehman, Mohsin, Ghufran Ahmed, Din, Tanzeem, Naz and Haider. The case was lodged on the complaint of Fahad, who was injured in the firing. The charge sheet against them reads that the attack was carried out on the instructions of MQM’s South African and Indian setups leaders.

The police have named Hussain, Asif Hasnain Siddiqui, Jameel, Khan, Muhammad Saleem, Junaid, Qasim Ali Raza, Nadeem Ehsan, Faizan Yusuf and Taravish as absconders in the case. The proclamation and attachment of properties process have already begun against them to declare them proclaimed offenders.

The FIR of the incident was registered under sections 302 (premeditated murder), 324 (attempt to murder), 109 (punishment of abetment), 111 (liability or abettor), 112 (abettor when liable to cumulative punishment), 114 (abettor present when offence is committed), 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with sections 7 and 21(i) of the Anti Terrorism Act at the Rizvia Society police station.

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