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Two men set free for lack of evidence in shootout, illicit arms cases

By Our Correspondent
June 02, 2023

An anti-terrorism court has acquitted two men, said to be history-sheeters, in cases pertaining to an encounter with police and possession of illicit arms.

Musharraf and Abdul Rehman were charged with firing at police with intent to kill, causing terrorism and carrying unlicensed weapons within the jurisdiction of the New Karachi Industrial Area police station in 2022. The ATC-XX judge observed that the prosecution failed to prove the charges and therefore acquitted them in the present cases. He ordered the jail superintendent to release them if they were not required in any other case.

According to the prosecution, a patrolling police party received a tip-off about the presence of three drug peddlers near the Siddiqabad cemetery. When the police reached the spot to catch them, they opened fire. In the police’s retaliatory firing, two accused got injured and fell down. They were subsequently arrested while one managed to flee the scene.

State prosecutor Iqbal Meo claimed that hashish and two pistols were seized from the possession of the accused. He said both had previously been behind bars in drug cases lodged at different police stations, adding that during interrogation they confessed to have been involved in criminal activities, including drug peddling.

Defence counsel Hyder Farooq Jatoi said prosecution witnesses’ testimonies were fraught with contradictions and not sufficient to establish the charges against the accused. The court was pleaded to acquit the accused of all the charges. Cases were registered under sections 324 (attempted murder), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 34 (common intention) of the PPC and Section 23(1)a of the Sindh Arms Act read with Section 7 of the ATA.