Sunday May 19, 2024

Two witnesses deny earlier statements against Uzair Baloch

By Zubair Ashraf
July 02, 2021
Two witnesses deny earlier statements against Uzair Baloch

The prosecution suffered another blow on Thursday after two more witnesses deviated from their quoted statements against alleged gangster Uzair Baloch in an anti-terrorism court.

The witnesses were called by the ATC-VII to depose against the accused in two different cases — one pertaining to the murder of an activist of the Kacchi Rabta Committee (KRC) and the other related to an attack on police.

According to the prosecution, Uzair’s gang, which was known as Peoples Amn Committee, abducted KRC member Ali, tortured him and then shot him dead in a dramatic manner in Lyari on February 15, 2012.

The witness in this case was quoted as saying that after kidnapping the victim on Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai Road, the perpetrators brought him to the Joona Masjid in the old city neighbourhood where Uzair asked to him to run for his life and then fired shots at his back.

The witness, however, testified in the court that he had not seen Uzair on the scene but his brother Zubair Baloch, who conducted the kidnapping, and his associate Zafar, who was later killed by the dissidents in his own gang in September 2013.

In the second case, the prosecution had maintained that the witness had seen Uzair, brandishing a rifle fitted with a grenade launcher, arriving along with his gang in Muhammad Ali Lane in the area, taking position in a building and firing at police in March 2012.

The witness declined that he had never named the accused in his statement but police had added Uzair’s name themselves. He said that although he was an eyewitness of that shoot-out, he had not seen Uzair among the attackers. After recording the statements, the ATC-VII adjourned both the matters till July 15 for recording further evidence. The judge also directed the investigation officer to bring the remaining witnesses in the court on the next hearing.

Uzair, who was the alleged kingpin of the gang war in Lyari, has been on trial in more than six dozen criminal cases relating to murders, kidnappings and extortion. So far, he has been acquitted in 14 cases for lack of evidence. He was, however, awarded a 12-year sentence by a military court for leaking sensitive information about Pakistan’s armed forces to an Iranian intelligence agency.