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Verdict reserved in girl’s murder case

KARACHI, May 9: An anti-terrorism court on Friday reserved its verdict till May 13 after hearing final arguments from both sides in a case pertaining to the kidnap, rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl.

The judge, Ghulam Ali Samtio of ATC-1, who is conducting the trial, recorded the final arguments of the defence counsel.

The defence counsel, Rana Qayyum, argued that the prosecution had failed to prove the involvement of his client in the case. He charged that the police had implicated his client and there were contradictions in the statements of the deceased’s parents and the medico-legal officer (MLO) regarding the age of the girl. He pleaded for the acquittal of his client.

The special public prosecutor, Niamat Ali Randhawa, argued that minor contradictions in the statements of the witnesses regarding the age of the girl would not damage the prosecution’s case, adding that the autopsy was not conducted to determine the age of the deceased but to determine as to which kind of weapon was used and whether or not she was tortured or sexually abused before her death. Earlier, in his final arguments, Mr Randhawa argued that the accused had kidnapped the girl and brutally killed her after subjecting her to sexual assault. He prayed to the court to sentence the accused to death on two counts.

According to the prosecution, Tanveer Ahmed had kidnapped Iqra, 8, on Feb 25, 2007 in the Pakistan Bazar police limits when she was playing in front of her home. The accused, brother-in-law of the girl’s father, took her to his home and demanded a ransom of Rs500, 000 from the victim’s father, Saleem.

Later, the accused allegedly raped the girl. He then killed her and chopped her body into pieces. Police had traced the accused through the calls he had made on the complainant’s cellular phone and arrested him on March 7, 2007. During the initial interrogation, the accused said he had buried different parts of the victim’s body in the Saddar and Mochko areas. The police had raided the locations and disinterred the parts.

A case (FIR 74/2007) was lodged on the complaint of the victim’s father at the Pakistan Bazaar police station under Sections 365-A, 302 and 376 of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7(A), (E), (I) of the Anti-terrorism Act.
Source: Dawn