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Kidnapping, murder of three-year-old girl: Accused contest trial under ATA

Karachi: The counsel of two policemen accused of abducting and murdering a three-year-old girl questioned on Thursday the proceedings against the defendants under the anti-terrorism law. He submitting that case pertained to blind murder of a girl and does not fall under the ambit of Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).

The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) reserved order on transfer application seeking transfer of trial against the policemen, to the Sessions court.

The policemen were earlier booked for murder and kidnapping charges on July 5 and remand was obtained from the concerned Magistrate, but section 6 (1) (b) and 7 of the ATA were included by the police after four days of their arrest and a case was made for the trial of the suspects before the ATC.

Bashir Ahmed and Noor Mohammad are charged with killing three-year-old Sana after kidnapping her in the Korangi area on July 5 this year. According to the prosecution, the defendants, after kidnapping and raping the girl, killed her and later threw her body in a graveyard in the Korangi area and due to their act a sense of fear prevailed in the society.

The defence counsel also submitted that the Judicial Magistrate’s order regarding direction to Investigation Officer (IO) for obtaining remand from Additional Judge is also illegal and prayed to the court to remand back the case to the Sessions court.

Special Public Prosecutor (SPP), Mohammad Khan Buriro, vehemently opposed the defence counsel contention and contended that the suspect counsel did not challenge the impugned order of the judicial magistrate before appropriate forum neither was it assailed before the superior courts. He prayed to the court to dismiss the application as the Administrative Judge also observed that prima facie the case falls under the ATA and is triable before the ATC.

The court also recorded statement of the defendant Noor Mohammad who denied the prosecution charges. He said that he was a father of five children and had nothing to do with the offence. He said that because he was Sindhi speaking and a policeman that is why he was implicated in the case by the complainant to save the real culprits. He denied giving his statement on oath however his counsel prayed to the court to call the medical officer where the defendant went for hepatitis C vaccination and official of airport police office where he stayed on the day of incident. The IO, however, opposed the plea contending that the IO is not bound to produce the defence witnesses and counsel should make such arrangements for their testimony.

Defendant head constable Bashir Ahmed also recorded his statement on oath before the court and denied all the allegations levelled against him, submitting that he was falsely implicated in the case. He submitted that he is a father of four children and being a policeman could not even think to commit such an offence. He was cross-examined by the SPP.

The ATC headed by Judge Syed Hasan Shah Bukhari fixed August 29 for order on transfer application and hearing the final arguments of the defence and prosecution counsel.
Source: The News
Date:8/28/2009

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