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Monday May 27, 2024

Lyari ‘gangster’ acquitted in decade-old case for lack of evidence

By Yousuf Katpar
April 21, 2024
Representational image for law - canva/file
Representational image for law - canva/file

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Saturday acquitted an alleged Lyari gangster in a decade-old case pertaining to an attack on law enforcers for want of evidence.

Mohammad Salam, alias Mullah Nisar, who faces dozens of cases like Lyari kingpin Uzair Baloch, had been charged with opening fire at Rangers and police with the intent to kill, deterring them from discharging their lawful duties and creating panic in the Kalakot police jurisdiction in January 2014.

The ATC-III judge pronounced his judgement after recording the evidence and the final arguments from both the defence and the prosecution.

He observed that the prosecution had failed to prove its case against the accused, exonerating him from the charges.

According to the prosecution, on January 24, 2014, Rangers and police conducted a raid near Bakra Piri Chowk in Lyari after receiving information about gangsters associated with the Baba Ladla group being present there.

Upon seeing the law enforcers, accused Mullah Nisar and his accomplices opened fire with sophisticated weapons, said the prosecution, adding that in the retaliatory fire by the Rangers and police officials, a suspect named Aslam was killed.

The prosecutor said that the accused and his accomplices managed to flee the scene, creating terror in the area.

One Kalashnikov with 10 live rounds and a hand grenade were found on the killed suspect.

Defence counsel Abid Zaman contended that there was no evidence to prove the charges against his client, who was falsely implicated in the present case. He pleaded with the court to acquit the accused.

The FIR had been lodged under sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 324 (attempted murder), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code, and sections 3 and 4 (punishment) of the Explosive Substances Act, read with Section 7 (punishment for acts of terrorism) of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

Mullah Nisar has been named in more than 40 criminal cases, according to the counsel. However, he has already been acquitted in half a dozen of those cases.