Friday April 12, 2024

ATC denies bail to Uzair Baloch, his brother in Arshad Pappu murder case

By Yousuf Katpar
October 21, 2023
ATC denies bail to Uzair Baloch, his brother in Arshad Pappu murder case. The News/File
ATC denies bail to Uzair Baloch, his brother in Arshad Pappu murder case. The News/File

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) has dismissed bail applications moved by alleged gangster Uzair Baloch and his brother Zubair Baloch in the Arshad Pappu murder case.

Uzair, chief of banned Peoples Amn Committee, former Pakistan Peoples Party lawmaker Shahjahan Baloch, Muhammad Yousuf, Zakir alias Dada, Akram Baloch and Zubair have been charged with kidnapping and murdering their rival gangster Pappu, his brother Yasir Arafat and an aide Jumma Shera in 2013.

Uzair and Zubair had filed post-arrest bail applications before the ATC-X judge through their lawyers. The judge had reserved the order on the applications earlier, after hearing arguments from the defence lawyers and the Rangers prosecutor. Pronouncing the verdict, the judge observed that both accused were not entitled to be given the concession of bail.

The lawyer, representing Uzair, had contended that there were no eyewitnesses against his client. He pointed out that two eyewitnesses, who identified Zakir and Zubair during an identification parade before a judicial magistrate, had turned hostile in the trial court.

The lawyer submitted that Zakir had already obtained bail from the court, requesting the same favor for his client. The counsel for Zubair stated that his client was in jail since 2013, while all other co-accused had been granted bail in the present case. The Rangers prosecutor Rana Khalid Hussain opposed the bail pleas.

During the hearing, Uzair was produced by the paramilitary force from the Mitha Ram Hostel, which has been declared a sub-jail to keep him. Zubair was brought from the central jail. Other accused - Shahjahan, Yousuf and Zakir - who are on bail, also appeared in the court.

Meanwhile, the court heard arguments from the defence on an application moved by co-accused Akram, seeking acquittal under section 265-K of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The prosecution sought time to submit counter arguments on the application, contending that a grandmother of the investigation officer (IO) had passed away, because of which he could not appear in the court nor deliver the police file against the accused.

The judge also issued notice to the prosecution to argue on a similar application for acquittal moved by the main accused Uzair. The court summoned the IO through the SSP concerned to appear on the next hearing on October 31, along with the police file.

According to the prosecution, Pappu, accompanied by his brother, a confidant, and his 10-year-old son, had gone to a friend's party in Defence Housing Authority on the night of March 16, 2013. However, the child returned home around midnight and informed his mother that some 20 men, including police officers, arrived in two vehicles at the DHA place, and kidnapped Pappu and his two companions.

The prosecution maintained that the accused police officers transferred the captives to Uzair’s gang in Lyari, who tortured them to death. The bodies of Pappu and his brother were allegedly mutilated and disposed of in manholes in Kalakot.

Following a directive from the Supreme Court, an FIR was registered at the Kalakot police station under the sections 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder), 302 (premeditated murder), 109 (abetment), and 297 (trespassing on burial places).