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Two get life sentence for killing lawyer Naimat Ali Randhawa

Karachi

December 1, 2020

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Monday sentenced two men to life in prison after they were found guilty of the murder of lawyer Naimat Ali Randhawa.

The ATC XVI judge also ordered the convicts — namely Kazim Abbas Rizvi and Noman Ahmed, both of whom reportedly belong to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) — to pay a compensation of Rs200,000 each to the family of the victim.

Randhawa, a special public prosecutor in Geo News reporter Wali Khan Babar’s murder case and a leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s legal wing in Sindh, was shot dead in a drive-by shooting in North Nazimabad on September 26, 2013.

His son Tauqeer Randhawa was also wounded in the attack. Rizvi and Ahmed were charged with the murder, while three more suspects belonging to the same party were named as absconders in the case. According to the investigators, Randhawa was targeted because he was pursuing the journalist’s murder case against suspects belonging to the MQM.

On Monday the judge pronounced the verdict, which had been reserved in a previous hearing, after the completion of the arguments from the defence and prosecution sides. The judge observed that the prosecution had successfully established its case beyond a shadow of a doubt.

The FIR of the incident had been registered under sections 302 (premeditated murder), 324 (attempted murder) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code, read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, at the North Nazimabad police station.

In April 2014, the case had been transferred to a court in Sukkur because of security issues. However, it was later transferred back to Karachi.

Last year the same ATC had recorded the testimony of a former judicial magistrate who had presided over an identification parade against one of the suspects believed to be involved in the murder of Advocate Randhawa.

The witness, who at the time of the identification parade on October 5, 2013 had been serving as a judicial magistrate for District Central at the city courts, deposed that an eyewitness had picked out Rizvi as one of the assailants.

Rizvi, said to be an employee of the Karachi Water & Sewerage Board, had been arrested from the Gizri area of the city in a joint operation by the Sindh Rangers and the police.

A few months earlier, the ATC had issued non-bailable warrants for the arrest of a police officer over his repeated absence in a quadruple murder trial against suspected target killers.

Sub-Inspector Raja Tariq had been summoned to the court repeatedly to record his testimony against Rizvi and Ahmed, who were accused of killing four people in 2012.

According to the prosecution, the accused and their absconding accomplices Rehan and Salman had opened fire at the Bilal Hotel near the Pahar Ganj area in North Nazimabad on April 17, 2012.

As a result, five people including a father and a son and a 15-year-old boy had been injured. However, four of them died during treatment.