By Ishaq Tanoli
KARACHI: An anti-terrorism court on Thursday conditionally allowed the application of a female suspect to become an approver in two cases of kidnapping for ransom.
Suspects Salman Qureshi, Imran Ahsan alias Sunny, Laiba and Zubair are facing charges of kidnapping Talha Siddiqui and Khurram Javed in the jurisdiction of the Gulshan-i-Iqbal and Sharea Faisal police respectively and demanding ransoms for their release.
Suspect Laiba through her counsel Ilyas Khan and M. Farooq filed an application in court under Section 338 (power to grant or tender of pardon) of the criminal procedure code by stating that she would disclose the facts of the cases to the court and added she was the mother of a child and it was difficult for her to look after the child in jail. She pleaded for a pardon.
However, Special Public Prosecutor Taseer Khan opposed the plea and argued that Salman Qureshi and Laiba were the main suspects and the prosecution had ample evidence against the applicant to link her with both offences.
The judge, Abdul Ghafoor Memon of ATC-II, observed that the court would take a final decision on the plea after recording the statement of the suspect/applicant in order to determine whether she had disclosed facts and to assess the nature of her involvement in both cases.
According to the prosecution, the suspects kidnapped Talha Siddiqui, 14, on Nov 2, 2008, in Gulshan-i-Iqbal when he, along with his father, was driving back to his residence. The kidnappers demanded Rs25 million for his release.
However, the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee and the Anti-Violent Crime Cell conducted a joint raid on Nov 4 in the limits of Gulistan-i-Jauhar police station and arrested the suspects.
The police also recovered the victim from their custody and lodged a case under Sections 365-A (kidnapping for ransom) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the Anti-terrorism Act on the complaint of the victim’s father.
In the second case, the suspects were charged with kidnapping Khurram Javed on Oct 10, 2008, in the limits of the Sharea Faisal police station. On Oct 26, they released the victim after collecting a ransom of Rs1 million. The police registered a case under Sections 365-A and 34 of the PPC read with Section 7 of ATA on the complaint of Noor Javed at the Sharea Faisal police station.
The court adjourned the hearing till April 3 when the statement of suspect Laiba would be recorded.
Meanwhile, a judicial magistrate (east), recorded the confessional statements of two suspects in a kidnapping for ransom case.
The court after recording the testimonies of Amir Farooq and Toor Khan under Section 164 of the CrPC sent them into jail custody till March 31.
The suspects, along with their accomplice Umair, were facing charges of kidnapping eight-year-old Osama from the Bahadurabad area on March 3 and demanding ransom for his release. They later freed the victim after collecting the ransom.
A team of the Anti-Violent Crime Cell (AVCC), acting on a tip-off, had conducted a raid on an under-construction factory in Surjani Town area, where they arrested the suspects. The police also claimed that they had recovered weapons and the ransom money from their possession.
A case (FIR 41/09) was registered under Section 365-A/34 of the Pakistan Penal Code at the Bahadurabad police station.
Female suspect in kidnap case files request to become approver
By Ishaq Tanoli