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December 7, 2017



Murderer of polio worker sentenced to death

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Wednesday sentenced a man to death for killing a polio worker in a December 2012 attack, the first ever death sentence handed down by a civilian court of the country for a polio worker’s murder.

The convict, Afsar Khan, along with an absconding accused, Jahangir Khan, had shot dead a young volunteer of an anti-polio drive, Umar Farooq Mehsud, on December 17, 2012. Thirty-year-old Mehsud was passing through Khadim Solangi Goth while returning home on his motorbike when he was targeted by the two men.

The court, while announcing capital punishment for Afsar Khan, ordered efforts for the arrest of the other so that he too could be tried for the murder. A permanent warrant of arrest against Jahangir Khan was also issued. The court also imposed a fine of Rs200,000 on Afsar. The polio worker, Mehsud, had died while being shifted to a nearby private hospital and the murder case was registered with the Sohrab Goth police.

Sehwan attack ‘mastermind’ indicted

The administrative judge of ATCs accepted the charge-sheet against Nadir Ali Jakhrani alias Murshid, alleged to have masterminded the suicide bomb attack on the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan in February this year.

The court was earlier informed that Jakharani had confessed to the crime before a judicial magistrate concerned who recorded his statement under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (relating to recording of confessions, statements).

The court while accepting the charge-sheet transferred the case to the ATC concerned for conducting a trial against the accused. Jakhrani is said to have admitted that he facilitated the suicide bombers by providing them shelter at his house located in Kandhkot and that weapons found from his possession were used in the firing that took place after the bombing. The accused in his statement mentioned that he had connections with a banned outfit.

The Counter-Terrorism Depar­tment (CTD) had arrested the accused on November 16 from Manghopir. On his way to Karachi from Balochistan, the accused opened fire on the police when he was signalled to pull over in Manghopir.

The police had claimed that those who planned and carried out the bombing were associated with the militant group Islamic State (IS), locally known as Daesh. It was also pointed out that Jakhrani belonged to Iraq.

Sea View shooter’s remand

A court extended the physical remand of the main suspect in the Sea View shooting case, Khawar Bunrey, by three days.

The three days were granted against the Investigation Officer’s (IO) request, to the court of the judicial magistrate (South), to extend the period for 10 days. The court, however, extended it for three days and directed the IO to submit a progress report in the case at the next hearing.

The complainant in the case submitted that the accused should be tried under the provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, dealing with terrorist activities. The complainant maintains that the accused had committed a terrorist activity by killing an innocent man and injuring another person, hence, it was fair to try the accused under the cited provisions. He further alleged that the IO did not desire to try the accused before an ATC.

Burney is alleged to have opened fire (along with other absconding accused) at a vehicle in the Sea View area on Sunday which resulted in the death of a college student, Zafir Zuberi, and injured another one of the latter’s friends.

The IO stated that the police had recovered illegal weapons and the vehicle used in the crime from the possession of the accused. Advocate Amir Mansoob Qurehsi, counsel for Burney, opposed the physical remand, stating his client was falsely implicated falsely in the case.