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Girl’s counsel for trial under ATA: Sahiwal court killing

SAHIWAL, Sept 4: The Civil Lines police on Thursday refused to entertain the plea of ‘honour-killing’ victim Saira’s counsel that a murder case should be registered under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997, it is learnt.

Saira Bibi, a.k.a. Nusrat Bibi, was shot dead on the sessions court premises the other day after she won a case of dissolution of marriage against the wishes of her family, husband and the biradari. Muhammad Nadeem Shaukat, a senior civil judge, decreed dissolution of marriage.

The Civil Lines police registered an FIR (74/08) against Ali Sher, son of Khan Muhammad, who shot Saira, with the abetment of Muhammad Akram (her ex-husband), Habib, Sabir, Mokha, Shabaan and Zafar.

The policemen in whose custody Saira was brought to court and was shot dead became complainants. They are: Shahid Mahmood, Abdul Ghaffar, Tasleem Bibi and police van driver Imran. The police instituted a case under sections 302/324, 186/148-149 of PPC and 13-20/65.

Advocate Malik Nowsher Khan, Saira’s counsel, expressed dissatisfaction with the FIR and argued that the case must be tried under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997 (amended in 2005) since the murder took place on court premises.

“The clause N.M. Schedule sub-clause 3 of ATA 2005 clearly states that an accused involved in firing on court premises must be tried under the anti-terrorism court,” he said while talking to Dawn.

“In Saira’s case, the killers are members of her own family and the police, by avoiding case under the ATA, are providing an opportunity to the accused to make an out-of-court settlement.”

Malik Nowsher filed an application with sessions judge Naseem Akhtar, requesting him to ask the Civil Lines police investigation officer to institute a case under the ATA. He also met DSP Rao Dilshad who held out an assurance that proper procedure would be adopted after confirmation of his claim.
Source: Dawn
Date:9/5/2008

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