Tuesday February 07, 2023

Killing of nine Chinese workers, four others: Two get multiple death penalties in Dasu terror attack

An Anti-Terrorism Court handed down death sentence to two accused in Dasu Hydro Power Project (DHPP) terrorist attack case in which 13 people, including nine Chinese workers, were killed.

By News Desk
November 15, 2022
The representational image. Unsplash
The representational image. Unsplash 

ISLAMABAD/ABBOTTABAD: An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Monday handed down death sentence to two accused in Dasu Hydro Power Project (DHPP) terrorist attack case in which 13 people, including nine Chinese workers, were killed.

The court handed down death sentence on 13 counts to each of the two accused identified as Muhammad Hasnain alias Zawan Mama and Muhammad Ayaz alias Janbaz. The court also fined the accused Rs1.5 million each, which the heirs of the deceased would receive.

The court also awarded 10-year imprisonment to each convict for attempt to murder under Section 324 PPC, two-year imprisonment under Section 337 PPC, two-year imprisonment under Section 427 PPC, and a fine of Rs1 million.

Meanwhile, the court declared four other accused, including Shaukat Ali, Anwar Ali, and Fazal Hadi, as the proclaimed offenders. All the four accused are stated to have taken refuge in Afghanistan.

At least 13 people, including nine Chinese nationals working on the Dasu Hydropower Project, were killed when a bus carrying them fell into a ravine after an explosion on July 14, 2021. The bus was ferrying the Chinese and Pakistani workers to an under-construction tunnel.

Deputy Inspector General of Counter-Terrorism Department (DIG-CTD) Javed Iqbal had said that more than 100 kilograms of explosive material had been used by terrorists in the explosion. Investigators collected 500GB data (footages) from all CCTV cameras installed on the route.

The then foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, had said that the bombing was carried out by the Pakistani Taliban militants backed by the Indian and Afghan intelligence agencies and that the Afghan soil was used for its planning and execution.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office Monday said proactive investigation, prosecution and the judgment in Dasu terrorist attack case demonstrated the country’s abiding commitment to counterterrorism.

“We have noted the judgment passed by the relevant court and details released by the local police. While specific queries may be directed to the relevant authorities, proactive investigation, prosecution and judgment in this case have once again demonstrated Pakistan’s abiding commitment to counterterrorism,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said in response to a question about the court verdict.

“We again extend our deepest condolences to the victims’ families and remain committed to the safety and security of Chinese workers, projects and institutions in Pakistan,” she added. “The ironclad Pakistan-China All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership will never be undermined by hostile forces,” the spokesperson maintained.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Police Hazara Region Zeeshan Asghar Monday said 13 Chinese and Pakistanis were martyred in the suicide attack. Addressing a press conference at his office in Abbottabad along with SSP CTD Nazir Khan, he said the police along with the CTD and other law enforcement agencies worked tirelessly and reached the family and other people involved in the suicide attack by using modern forensic technique and arrested them.

He said after the incident, a case was registered against the unknown accused by the Police Station CTD Hazara Region and a JIT was formed and investigation started in the light of evidence available on the spot.

Zeeshan disclosed that the video of the Honda car used in the suicide attack was obtained from the CCTV cameras which found a red sticker of Chaman 2 showroom on the front number plate which could not be read by the naked eye.

He said after getting information from all over Pakistan, it was found in Chaman 2 Bargin, Chakdara Malakand, which was further investigated and it was found that the said motor car was received from Chaman 2 showroom by Syed Muhammad, son of Khaista Muhammad whose real name was Muhammad Hussain, son of Abdul Rahim, resident of Spanpora Matta, Swat and the accused in this case were Muhammad Hussain, Muhammad Ayaz and Fazal Hadi.

The DIG stated that initially the accused, Hadi, was traced and arrested while three other arrested accused revealed the planning and implementation of the incident.

During interrogation the other accused were identified as Tariq alias Battan Kharab, Mian Syed Muhammad, Shaukat Ali, Abdul Wahab, Anwar Ali, Mohibullah alias Irfan, Umarzada and Khalid alias Sheikh (suicide bomber).

The DIG said the accused, Mohammad Hussain, kept the motor car with him for seven months and handed it over to the accused Tariq on 07-07-2021 for the incident.

After arresting six accused and completing the investigation with the help of other law enforcement agencies, CTD Hazara Region sent a challan to the Court of Anti-Terrorism Hazara Region on 09-11-2021. He said the Hazara Region Anti-Terrorism Court, after completing the trial in the case, while giving its verdict on 10-11-2022 ordered that accused Muhammad Hussain and Muhammad Ayaz be sentenced to death 13 times with a fine of Rs1.5 million each.