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June 15, 2021

Two clerics sentenced to death for kidnapping and murdering student

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Monday sentenced two clerics to death after finding them guilty of kidnapping a 15-year-old student for ransom and later murdering him.

According to the prosecution, Qari Abdul Majeed and Qari Ahsan Ali had kidnapped Abdul Moiz on June 26, 2016, just after his parents allowed him to sit in Aitkaaf at the Ghousia Qadriya Masjid in Khudadad Colony.

The boy was kept hostage for four days in a house in Usmania Colony and after the payment of Rs400,000 in ransom by his family, he was killed by the accused who dismembered his body into parts, the prosecution added.

The ATC-XX judge ordered that the convicts be hanged by neck till their death. The judge also ordered the convicts to pay a fine of Rs1 million to the family of the victim or else they would spend five years more in prison.

Moiz’s father Mohammad Arif had lodged a complaint with the Brigade police station stating that his son had brought an application form for Aitkaaf and after taking his signatures on the form, he went to submit it to the mosque but he never reached there nor returned home.

The father said that the next day, he received a text message from his son’s number telling him to arrange a ransom of Rs700,000 to get his son freed. The kidnappers used the captive’s mobile phone and number to contact the family.

The family agreed to pay Rs400,000 to the kidnappers for the release of Moiz. The money was dropped in a mini-truck parked near the Askari Amusement Park on University Road, after which the kidnappers told the family that the boy would return home soon but he never did.

Following the clues given by the family, the local police and Anti-Violent Crime Cell launched an investigation into the case and through the call data record of Moiz, found that he had been in touch with his teacher Majeed for some days and also at the time he went missing.

A hunt to trace the teacher began after that and with the help of a tip-off four months later, police managed to arrest Majeed’s accomplice, Ali, near the National Medical Centre on Korangi Road.

During the interrogation, Ali confessed that he and Majeed brought Moiz on a motorcycle to a place in Usmania Colony and kept him captive there. He said that as the family knew Majeed, he made the ransom calls.

One month later, on November 20, 2016, a spy informed police that Majeed was present at the VIP Gate of the Mazar-e-Quaid, following which he was arrested. He later led police for the recovery of a knife and dagger with which he killed his student.

According to the investigation officer, Majeed dismembered Moiz’s body into parts and with the help of his accomplice, threw some of them in the sea from the Native Jetty Bridge and some of them in a nullah in Kharadar.

The investigators conducted a DNA test of blood found on the knife and dagger, and blood of the victim’s mother from the Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences in Jamshoro and found that the blood on the knife and dagger was of Moiz.

The police also recovered the mobile phone of the victim which Majeed sold to his friend in Jehlum for Rs10,000.

The court heard 16 witnesses against the accused. In the light of the evidence, the judge observed that the prosecution had successfully established its case against the accused beyond any shadow of doubt.

The judge awarded the accused two counts of capital punishment under the Anti-Terrorism Act and remarked that their offence reeked of inhumanity and they did not deserve any

leniency.