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Thursday May 19, 2022

Noor Mukadam murder: 'Very strong pieces of forensic evidence' available against Zahir Jaffer

Islamabad police say investigation team "committed to seek justice for Noor Mukadam"

By Web Desk
January 25, 2022
Zahir Jaffer, the man charged with the murder of Noor Mukadam, brought to the court in handcuffs, on July 26, 2021. — Twitter/Senator Sehar Kamran
Zahir Jaffer, the man charged with the murder of Noor Mukadam, brought to the court in handcuffs, on July 26, 2021. — Twitter/Senator Sehar Kamran

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Police on Tuesday issued a statement confirming that "very strong pieces of forensic evidence" are available against Zahir Jaffer, who has been charged with the murder of Noor Mukadam.

According to the statement, the evidence was collected from the crime scene "in a professional manner" and was sent to Punjab Forensic Science Agency.

The PFSA confirmed the following findings:

1. DNA evidence confirmed that Noor was raped before being killed.

2. Noor made every possible attempt to save her life before being killed. Zahir's DNA, i.e. skin, was recovered under Noor's nails.

3. The shirt worn by and recovered from Zahir was stained with Noor's blood. Her DNA was found on Zahir's shirt.

4. Noor  was killed with the swiss knife recovered from the crime scene. DNA, i.e. Noor's blood, was found on the blade and handle of the swiss knife.

5. Noor was also attacked with the knuckle punch recovered from the crime scene. DNA, i.e. Noor's blood, was found on the knuckle punch.

"These are very strong pieces of forensic evidence and investigation team is committed to seek justice for Noor Mukadam," the Islamabad Police statement read.

The statement followed a briefing given to Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammad Ahsan Younus, in which he asked police officers to explain the case proceedings thus far.

The meeting was attended by DIG Operations, Chief Prosecutor, SSP Investigation, SP Investigation, DSP Legal and IO of the case.

According to the statement, the IGP was told that in court proceedings a day earlier, the investigation officer was cross examined and was required to provide "yes" or "no" answers to questions. However, the proceedings were misreported in some media reports.

The statement, therefore, also sought to clarify these misconceptions.

Misconceptions

The investigation officer was asked the following questions which he answered with a "no" but which led to erroneous interpretation by the media.

Question: Was the pant of the accused stained with blood?

Answer: No.

Explanation: The pant was not stained with blood , but the shirt of the accused was stained with blood of the victim, Noor Mukadam, as per the PFSA report.

Question: Were there any finger prints found on the knife, the weapon of offence?

Answer: No.

Explanation: The knife recovered from the crime scene was taken into custody, sealed by NFSA and sent to PFSA for fingerprints which could not be developed by the latter. But, the report confirmed Noor Mukadam's blood on the knife.

Question: Was photogrammetry test conducted for the identification of the victim, Noor Mukadam?

Answer: No.

Explanation: Photogrammetry test is conducted for the identification of the accused so that he could not negate his presence at the crime scene.

PFSA's detailed report contains 'sufficient' evidence for conviction

The statement further said that the detailed report of the PFSA "is yet to be read on the next hearing which contains comprehensive forensic evidence, sufficient for the conviction of the accused".

"The crime scene was visited by senior most officers at the time of occurrence and scene was completely preserved by forensic experts of National Forensic Science Agency to avoid any contamination," it added.

The murder

Zahir was formally charged for the murder of Noor Mukadam by an Islamabad court in October 2021. Besides him, two of the family's employees — Jamil and Jan Mohammad — were indicted, along with the Chief Executive Officer of Therapy Works, Tahir Zahoor, for a total of 12 people.

Noor, a 27-year-old woman, was murdered on July 20 within the limits of the ​Kohsar police station in Islamabad's F-7 area.

A case was registered at the same police station on the complaint of Noor's father, Shaukat Ali Mukadam.

The Islamabad police arrested Zahir on the night of July 20 from his house where, according to Noor's parents, he killed her with a sharp instrument and severed her head.