ATC sentences JuD activist to five years in prison

August 13, 2020

An anti-terrorism court on Wednesday sentenced a Jamaat-ud-Dawa activist to five years in prison for collecting funds for Daish.Saleem Ahmed, local focal person for JuD, was arrested by the...

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An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Wednesday sentenced a Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) activist to five years in prison for collecting funds for Daish.

Saleem Ahmed, local focal person for JuD, was arrested by the Counter-Terrorism Department from his residence in Karachi Administrative Employees Housing Society in March earlier this year.

The accused maintained that he had been falsely implicated in the case for filing a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) against a serving senior superintendent of police and a retired army captain in 2017.

He added that following his arrest, the investigation officer had demanded Rs500,000 in bribe for his release and over the non-payment, the charge sheet was prepared against him.

According to the prosecution, the CTD was tipped off through an intelligence report about the presence of the accused at his residence and his involvement in collecting funds for Daish which were used in terrorist activities.

The investigation officer, Inspector Haider Ali, who was also the incharge of the operation, said that during the raid, the accused introduced himself as Ikhlas Ahmed, his younger brother, in a bid to deceive the personnel.

The charge sheet read that the accused lead police to the Masjid Siddique-e-Akbar in the neighborhood where he had kept the donation box with Rs610 inside it. The accused denied all the allegations of fundraising for Daesh against him and said that neither did he belong to any proscribed organisation nor was anything recovered from his possession.

The defence counsel cast doubts on the contents of the intelligence report and the course of investigation which could not produce independent witnesses, except one. The prosecutor contended that there was sufficient evidence against the accused to prove his association with the terrorist organisation and his role as a fundraiser for it.

The ATC-XII judge observed that although the recoveries claimed from the accused had become doubtful but his association with JuD and solicitation of funds for the same had been proved.

The judge awarded Saleem five years in prison under the section 11-F(5) (a person commits an offence if he solicits, collects, or raises funds for a prescribed organisation) and six months in prison under the section 11-F(1) (a person is guilty of an offence if he belongs or professes to belong to a prescribed organisation) of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).

The accused was also ordered to pay a collective fine of Rs20,000 which in case of default would be turned into an additional imprisonment of four months. The judge also noted defects in investigation and ordered the inspector general of Sindh police to conduct an inquiry against Inspector Ali and Head Constable Majid Khan for allegedly spoiling the case through defective investigation.

He also directed the Sindh prosecutor general to ensure compliance with the order through the additional IG CTD and explain to the court as to why such police officials, who spoiled the present case, were retained in the police service after making such illegalities. The ATC sought a report regarding compliance with its order within 30 days.

The case was lodged under the Sections 11-H (fundraising), 11-N (punishment for fundraising, use and possession, funding arrangement and money laundering), and 11-F(i),(ii) (membership, support and meetings relating to a proscribed organisation) of the ATA at the CTD police station.

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