ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court was told on Tuesday that the principal accused behind the murder of director Orangi Pilot Project (OPP) Karachi, Perween Rahman, had been arrested and efforts were on to arrest 11 other absconding accomplices.
In a report submitted before the two-judge bench, headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Deputy Inspector General Police West Zone Karachi informed the court that the principal accused Mohammad Rahim Swati, who allegedly ran illegal hydrant business in Karachi, Ahmed Khan alias Papoo Kashmiri, and Mohammad Imran had been arrested and their cases were pending before the Anti-Terrorist Court-VII Karachi.
Ms Rahman who served as the director OPP Karachi was killed on March 13, 2013 while going home from her office. The assailants riding a motorbike opened fire on her car on the main Manghopir Road near Banaras Flyover wherein she received bullet injuries to her neck. Her driver rushed her to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.
The court on Tuesday also ordered the Inspector General Police Sindh to provide protection to OPP staff members, counsel for the complainant involved in the trial, decide on the application written by Aquila Ismail, sister of slain Ms Rahman, and Zohra Yousuf, for re-investigation into the case by police, and interrogation of the investigating officers — sub inspectors Raja Ulfat Hussain and Ashfaq Hussain Baloch — for their alleged involvement in manipulating the initial investigation into the murder of Ms Rahman.
The directions were issued when Aquila Ismail appeared in person to inform the court about the threats being received by the OPP staff from the family members of those who had been arrested.
Senior counsel Raheel Kamran Sheikh, who appeared on behalf of Aquila Ismail, told the court that even the lawyers of the trial court who represented the complainants were afraid because of the threats they were receiving.
Meanwhile, police in its report admitted that accused Rahim Swati was arrested in July 2016 after an encounter in the Manghopir area, and from his possession illicit weapons and explosives were recovered.
Swati also confessed before a joint investigation team (JIT) that he was an office-bearer of the Awami National Party and a councillor of UC-8 in PS-86. About the motive behind the murder, the report said that in 2011, Ayaz Swati sought assistance of Raheem Swati for opening a karate centre on the land owned by the OPP.
But Ms Rahman refused, the police report said, adding the scheme to kill Ms Rahman was conceived during a meeting between Raheem Swati, Ayaz Swati, Amjad Afridi and Ahmed Ali alias Papoo Kashmiri.
Ayaz Swati contacted by mobile phone Moosa — a local Taliban commander, and Mehfoozullah alias Bhaloo — then ‘in-charge’ of Kati Pahari area of Karachi.
On March 13, 2013, Raheem Swati told JIT that Ayaz Swati and Amjad Afridi informed him that Moosa, Bhaloo and Papoo Kashmiri had “accomplished the task”.
Raheem Swati, to save himself from the clutches of law, went underground and started driving vehicles in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, police report stated.
During that period Moosa called him for the payment of Rs4 million and on failure his house was attacked with crackers.
Qari Bilal and Bhaloo had already been killed by police in an encounter.
The court ordered police to arrest the absconders and submit a fresh report within a month.