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July 11, 2019

CCTV footage of journalist’s murder shows suspect had an accomplice


July 11, 2019

As the police await Atif Zaman, the prime suspect of anchorperson Mureed Abbas and his friend Khizar Hayat’s murders, to regain consciousness so they could record his statement, the CCTV footage of the crime scenes show that Zaman was accompanied by his brother.

The footage acquired from the Khayaban-e-Bukhari building where Abbas was shot dead on Tuesday night shows Zaman running out of the building with a pistol in his hand, accompanied by a man in white shalwar kameez.

Zaman shot Abbas dead outside his office on the second floor, following which he ran outside intending to kill Hayat, who had arrived there just then. Hayat tried to escape after seeing the gun, but Zaman followed him in a car and shot him dead in the street.

After the murders, Zaman went to his Khayaban-e-Nishat residence and apparently attempted to commit suicide. He is now under treatment at a private hospital in Clifton. Though a special police team has been constituted, investigators have marked around 35 people inside and outside the building to record their statements. Police said the statements of the witnesses, family and friends are important, but Zaman’s statement is crucial.

“Zaman has survived, as he was shot once 2cm away from his heart, and is now out of danger,” District South SSP Sheraz Nazeer told The News. “Our focus is on the murders and the murderers, and we are going to catch others if someone else is involved.”

Abbas’s body was taken to Mianwali and Hayat’s to Gujrat, where they were laid to rest. Abbas’s wife Zara Abbas, who is also an anchorperson, said the murders were premeditated.

“Zaman was a tyre vendor and many people, including my husband and Hayat, had invested millions of rupees in the business, which was running since the past four years or so, but since May this year, the situation had worsened over a monetary dispute.”

She claimed that Zaman had planned to kill their family at their house a couple of days ago, but he could not do it, so he called her husband to his office for the payment of Rs5 million, which was just one of the instalments.

She said Zaman was a fraud who had cheated many people, including her husband. “I had insisted that my husband approach the authorities, as Zaman had started threatening him in the last few days, but my husband did not involve the authorities because he feared Zaman would disappear.”

She clarified that the other man in the footage was Zaman’s brother Adnan Zaman, also known as Adil Zaman. She also named a man named Shoaib as being the mastermind. She said Zaman’s father and sisters lived in Karachi, and Zaman was married and had children, but he claimed that he was orphaned in the October 2008 earthquake.

A case has already been registered at the Darakhshan police station, as the police are trying to ascertain if Zaman attempted suicide, if he wished to change the nature of the incident or if someone else was involved.

JIT constituted

South Range DIG Sharjil Kharal has formed a joint investigation team (JIT) to look into the murders, adds our correspondent. The special team will be headed by South Zone Investigation-I SSP Tariq Razzaq Dharejo.

The members are SSP Nazeer, Clifton Division SP Suhai Aziz, Darakhshan Sub-Division DSP/SDPO Zahid Hussain, Darakhshan SHO Inspector Shah Jahan Lashari and the station investigation officer of the Darakhshan police station.

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