KARACHI, Oct 5: An anti-terrorism court on Friday fixed Oct 6 for the pronouncement of its verdict after recording final arguments from both the defence and the prosecution counsel in a kidnap case.
Shahida, a factory worker, and her two-and-a-half-year-old nephew Zahid were allegedly abducted by her two colleagues, Maqbool Ahmed and Ghulam Qasim, in the limits of the Khawaja Ajmer Nagri police station on June 20, 2007.
The Special Public Prosecutor, Niamat Ali Randhawa, argued that the testimonies of the eyewitnesses, father of the kidnapped child and Judicial Magistrate Azizullah Khoso, had proved the involvement of the accused in the kidnapping. He insisted that the accused deserved life imprisonment.
The defence counsel, Ashfaq Rafiq Janjua, in his arguments said that the kidnap victim had not been produced in court so far. It was a false case against his clients which, he pleaded, should be disposed of.
Judge Abdul Ghafoor Memon of the ATC-II, after hearing the arguments, fixed Oct 6 for the pronouncement of his order in the case.
Abdul Qadir, father of Zahid, and Mohammad Luqman, brother of Abdul Qadir, in their statements on Sept 22 had narrated the entire ordeal.
They had identified the accused in police custody and confirmed that their sister and the child were recovered from the possession of the accused.
On Sept 15, the court recorded the statement of a witness, Ms Shazia, who had been arrested and interrogated before being subsequently released.
The two accused in the case, Maqbool Ahmed and Ghulam Qasim, are at present in judicial custody and have been charged with kidnapping Ms Shahida and demanding a ransom of Rs800,000 for her release.
Dr Wahab kidnap case
Judge Ghulam Ali Samtio of the ATC-I, who is conducting trial in a kidnap case, on Thursday, visited the area in North Karachi where the accused Dr Mohammad Abrar Younus and his wife Huma had allegedly kept Dr Abdul Wahab after kidnapping him for ransom, in the limits of the Shahrah-i-Noor Jehan police station on April 12, 2007. He also recorded the statements of the shopkeepers and neighbours of the accused couple. The owner of the house, where the couple used to live, was also called who confirmed their identity and said that after their arrest the house had not been rented out to any other tenant. The court has fixed Oct 8 for further proceedings of the case.
The court had also recorded the statements of Norbert Almeida, Assistant Manager, Telenor Telecom Company and Usman Maftoon, Manager, Warid Telecom Company.
Telephone connections of the two companies, 0321-8721899 (owned by Dr Wahab) and 0345-2537667 (owned by Huma) were used for making ransom calls to 0321-2537667 on April 12 and 16.
The court had ordered the production of the record of these two mobile phone connections and duration of the calls after an objection was raised by the defence counsel that the accused had nothing to do with these telephone numbers.
The court had directed the Telenor official to produce the record of telephone calls made through the Telenor number on Oct 4 and issued bailable arrest warrants for Mr Almeida for his failure to appear in court to testify in the case. However, Mr Almeida appeared in court on Oct 4 and produced the required record which proved that the telephone No: 0345-2537667 had been used to make ransom calls on April 15, 2007.
The Special Public Prosecutor, Niamat Ali Randhawa, told the court that some of the calls from the same telephone number had been made minutes before handing over the ransom amount to the accused.
According to the prosecution, the abductors had invited Dr Abdul Wahab to their residence in North Karachi on the pretext of celebrating the circumcision of their child, but on his arrival they tied him to a bed and demanded Rs300,000 for his release.As a result of the telephone negotiations, the abductors agreed to accept Rs40,000. They had asked his wife, Meraj Bano, to bring the amount to a certain place near their residence.
As they received the amount, the police and the Anti-Violent Crime Cell (AVCC) staff arrested them and recovered the doctor on April 15.