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April 19, 2019

ATC issues arrest warrants for absconding suspects in Abidi murder case

Karachi

April 19, 2019

An anti-terrorism court on Thursday issued non-bailable arrest warrants against four suspects wanted in the murder case of former Muttahida Qaumi Movement lawmaker Ali Raza Abidi.

The ATC-XI judge, who is conducting the proceedings in the judicial complex inside the central prison, directed the investigation officer (IO) of the case to arrest Mustafa alias Kali Charan, Faizan, Hasnain and Bilal by the next hearing on April 29. At the outset of the hearing, the IO told the court that the police had identified Bilal as one of the shooters and his picture had been obtained and would be shared with their network in a bid to expedite the hunt for the suspect.

The court supplied copies of the prosecution documents to the arrested suspects, Farooq, Haseeb, Ghazali and Abu Bakr, as they had been charge-sheeted previously. According to the Counter Terrorism Department, apparently a hostile foreign spy agency that uses hitmen, may have been responsible.

“It seems that the arrested suspects are associated with a Lyari-based gang, but nothing can be said about the brains of the incident,” CTD SSP Naveed Ahmed Khawaja said. “They were hired for the murder, but their handlers remain unidentified.” He added that some eight men were behind the incident and they were paid Rs800,000 by a middleman.

The SSP said Farooq’s brother, Mustafa alias Kali Chiran, and three more suspects, Faizan, Hasnain and Bilal, were absconding. He said the suspects provided the weapons and cash concealed in a flour bag, adding that they started conducting Abidi’s recce between December 8 and December 9.

“The murder was committed after two weeks of planning,” the officer said while quoting the suspects’ statements. “They also conducted recce of his restaurant, office and house.” He said the weapon used in Abidi’s murder was also used in the killing of another man, namely Ehtisham, in Liaquatabad.

Khawaja said Abidi had been receiving threats from the MQM-London, but, apparently, paid killers were used for the murder. He said Bilal was among the shooters while Mustafa was on backup. He said the arrested suspects had no criminal record or affiliation with any political or religious party. Abidi was killed on December 25 last year in a drive-by attack outside his residence on Khayaban-e-Ghazi in DHA, where gunmen opened fire on his vehicle and fled.

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