Police submitted a charge sheet in the Nazim Jokhio murder case to a Malir judicial magistrate on Wednesday against Pakistan Peoples Party MPA Jam Awais and four other suspects, declaring Awais’s brother MNA Jam Abdul Karim and four others as absconders.
Filing the charge sheet, Investigation Officer (IO) Inspector Sirajuddin Lashari said there was sufficient evidence that Jokhio was tortured to death at the Jam House on November 3, 2021, between 00:30 and 06:56. He however submitted that the charges of Jokhio’s kidnapping could not be proved and had therefore been dropped.
The police investigation showed that the motive behind Jokhio’s killing was his action for uploading a scuffle video with foreigners, who were hunting endangered houbara bustards in his village in the Thatta district.
The police officer submitted that the victim was tortured at the Jam House by MNA Karim and later by his brother MPA Awais and his guards Mir Ali and Hyder Ali for uploading the video of foreign hunters.
The police submitted that sufficient evidence was not found against seven other suspects -- Mohammad Khan Jokhio, Ishaque Jokhio, Saleem Salar, Mohammad Soomar Salar, Dodo Jokhio, Ahmed Khan Shoro and Abdul Razzak Jokhio -- they had therefore been exonerated from the murder charges. Police chargesheeted MPA Owais, Mir Ali Jokhio, Hyder Ali Khaskheli, Jamal Ahmed and Mohammad Miraj for murder, concealment of evidence and criminal intimidation for causing death. Jam Abdul Karim, Niaz, Atta Mohammad and Zahid were declared absconders.
The counsel for the complainant requested the court to provide him an opportunity of hearing in the matter with regard to the submission of the police report. The judicial magistrate, allowing the request, fixed February 3 for hearing the arguments of the complainant’s counsel.
Jokhio’s tortured body was found at the Jam House, said to be owned by MPA Owais in Jam Goth, on November 3, 2021. Jokhio’s brother lodged a case against the MPA, his younger brother MNA Karim and others for being involved in the murder of his 27-year-old brother.
According to the police, Jokhio was tortured to death for reportedly trying to prevent the lawmaker’s guests from hunting the houbara bustards in Thatta district.
On Monday, civil society organisations had accused the prosecution of using delaying tactics to avoid submission of the final charge sheet against influential suspects in the murder case.
Speaking at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club, Anis Haroon of the National Commission for Human Rights said the prosecution was using delaying tactics and had been taking dates for the submission of the charge sheet.
“We went to see IG Police Mushtaq Mahar, who gave us information that police have submitted a challan to the prosecutor on January 8,” she said, adding that on January 22 a deputy prosecutor general again asked a Malir court for more time.
She added that the accused were highly influential persons and the prosecution appeared to be under pressure. She said it was a highly publicised case and the victim’s widow was suffering with four minor children and the whole civil society was perturbed at this situation.
“We as NCHR with Joint Action Committee (JAC) of civil society organisations are requesting Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah to appoint special public prosecutors to proceed the case before any forum till the Supreme Court. She said the killing was an act of terrorism as the village located at 45km from Karachi was under fear, and it should be transferred to an anti-terrorism court for trial.
Earlier this month, the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights summoned Sindh’s IGP and expressed its displeasure over his alleged disinterest in the murder case as he did not attend a session.
Other police officials attending the session told the committee that MPA. Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari said that when MPA or MNAs were involved in a case, then the Sindh IGP should appear, adding that the Sindh Police appeared to be failing in the case. Mazari said the federal government had directed the Sindh Police to protect the family of Jokhio, adding that the state would fight the case on behalf of the family if they agreed to "compromise".
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