Sunday May 29, 2022

SHC dismisses appeal of two: Daish activists in Sehwan blast case

May 14, 2022

The Sindh High Court on Friday dismissed the appeals of two banned militant outfit activists against their death sentence in the Sehwan blast case.

Appellants Furqan and Nadir were handed down death penalty and other sentences by an anti-terrorism court for involvement in the suicide bomb blast in which more than 70 people were killed and 65 others injured at the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine on February 16, 2017.

According to the prosecution, the appellants being activists of banned outfit Daish, along with absconding co-accused, hatched a plan for the suicide bombing at the shrine. The appellants’ counsel submitted that Nadir was falsely implicated as he had been detained much before the incident and a petition against his illegal confinement had been filed in the court.

He said eyewitnesses had falsely implicated him in the case as his pictures were shown in print and electronic media as one of the facilitators in the bomb blast. He said the judicial confession of the appellant was not voluntarily as police had tortured him during illegal confinement.

The counsel for Furqan submitted that none of the eyewitness had identified him during the identification parade and he should be acquitted of charges. The additional prosecutor general supported the impugned judgment and said that eyewitnesses had identified the appellants as being facilitators who were with the suicide bomber prior to the blast and their testimonies could be safely relied upon.

He said the identification parade of the appellants could not be discarded as the same was conducted in accordance with the law. Also, he said, the confessional statement was made voluntarily. He asked that the appellants’ appeal be dismissed as so many innocent persons, including women and children, had lost their lives by this wanton act of terrorism.

A division bench, comprising Justice Mohammad Karim Khan Agha and Justice Khadim Hussain Tunio, after hearing arguments of the counsel and perusal of the evidence of the case, observed that confessional statements of the appellants were made voluntarily as no compelling material on record was found.

The court observed that the eyewitnesses had correctly identified the appellants with the suicide bomber at the shrine just before the blast and the CCTV cameras fully corroborated the eyewitnesses’ statements.

The judges found that the case falls within the purview of anti-terrorism law as in this case through the confessional statement of the appellants there is no doubt that object, intent, design and purpose of the appellants was to create terror by facilitating a massive suicide bomb blast at the shrine, where many innocent people would be either murdered or seriously injured. They remarked that the appellants did in fact achieve the objective of creating terror in the province if not throughout the entire country.

The court observed that those who indulge in such inhumane activities must be sent a loud and clear message that if they engage in such inhumane conduct and they are proved guilty of the same after trial, no leniency will be extended to them by the courts; instead, they must expect to be dealt with with an iron hand and face the deterrent sentence of death penalty so as to dissuade others from treading in their barbaric footsteps.

The court dismissed the appeals of the convicts, observing that the prosecution proved its case against the appellants beyond any reasonable doubt and upheld their death sentence along with other sentences awarded to them by the trial court.