Thursday May 23, 2024

Uzair Baloch exonerated in two more cases

By Zubair Ashraf
July 17, 2021

A district and sessions court has acquitted a suspected gangster, Uzair Baloch, in two more cases pertaining to shoot-outs with police for lack of evidence.

Uzair, who was the chief of the banned outfit Peoples Amn Committee and alleged kingpin of the horrific gang war in Lyari, was accused of attacking police in the neighbourhood to deter them from crackdown against criminals.

According to the prosecution, he ordered his men to carry out armed assault on the policemen stationed within the remits of the Kalri and Kalakot police stations to maintain law and order in the crime-infested area in 2012.

On the other hand, the defence maintained that the cases against Uzair were false and politically motivated as the prosecution had nothing substantial against him except undependable and mala fide hearsay.

Concluding the trial, the judge observed that the prosecution had failed to prove charges on the accused and therefore the court extended the benefit of the doubt to the accused and acquitted him in the said cases.

Since the beginning of his trial in 2016, Uzair has been acquitted in 17 cases from sessions courts and four from anti-terrorism courts because of no evidence. Still more than three dozen cases are pending against him in different courts.

He, however, has been convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison by a military court for spying for Iranian intelligence agencies and leaking sensitive information to them about the Pakistani armed forces.

According to a joint investigation team report on Uzair, he allegedly killed or ordered to kill more than 200 people, and ran an extortion enterprise under the patronage of some Pakistan Peoples Party leaders and senior police officers.

He also allegedly confessed to these crimes in a court soon after his arrest. However, he then denied those claims and maintained that the statements attributed to him was false and concocted to hurt his defence.

According to the prosecution, he escaped from Karachi in 2013 after then federal government launched an offensive against criminals in the city. Unverified reports said that he was arrested by Interpol from the United Arab Emirates in 2014. But the Rangers claimed his arrest in 2016, saying that he was arrested in a raid in the outskirts of the city.