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December 6, 2018

Plea against life term in Sialkot lynching case dismissed

Lahore

December 6, 2018

LAHORE: The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal challenging life sentence awarded to a culprit in lynching case of two young brothers in Sialkot in 2010.

An anti-terrorism court had awarded life imprisonment to appellant Asghar Ali for being part of a mob that lynched Hafiz Muhammad Mughees, 18, and his brother Muneeb Sajjad, 15, in the presence of police men. The mob had attacked the brothers dubbing them robbers.

The counsel of the appellant argued before the court that his client was present on the scene but had not participated in any criminal activity that led to the death of the two brothers. He said the police wrongly implicated the appellant in the case only to increase number of suspects.

However, an additional prosecutor told the court that the police identified the appellant with the help of videos footages of the crime scene and he could be seen as active member of the violent mob. The bench comprising Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik and Justice Sardar Tariq Masood dismissed the appeal and upheld the sentence of the appellant.

The trial court had in 2011 awarded death sentence on four counts to seven prime suspects in the lynching case while acquitted five others for lack of evidence. However, Lahore High Court division bench had converted the death penalty of Asghar into life sentence. A judicial inquiry held into the horrific lynching incident had confirmed that the boys were not robbers or criminals and not a single case of mobile phone snatching or robbery was ever reported against them.

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