Shabbir Ahmed, brother of Dua Zahra’s purported husband Zaheer Ahmed, has confessed that he had accompanied his younger brother to Karachi on April 16 to take away the teenage girl.
The police officer investigating the alleged abduction and underage marriage of Zahra submitted a progress report to a District East judicial magistrate, stating that Zaheer and Shabbir joined the probe after obtaining pre-arrest bail from a session’s court on July 25.
During the interrogation, Shabbir admitted that he accompanied his younger brother to Karachi to take Zahra, he said. However, he added, Zaheer had been insisting that he was not in the city on the day the girl was reported missing.
The officer pointed out that the call data record of Zaheer’s phone number showed his presence in Karachi on April 16. He was also in the city on April 7 and 9. Zaheer’s last location on April 16 was Nooriabad as per the CDR, after which he switched off his cell phone and possibly remained in contact with the girl through his brother’s cell phone or WhatsApp, the IO said.
The CDR of Shabbir’s phone number also showed his presence in Karachi on the day the girl disappeared. In the light of the investigation thus far carried out into the case and the CDR of the accused persons’ phone numbers, he concluded that both were in Karachi on April 16.
Zaheer faces charges of kidnapping the underage girl from Karachi and contracting the illegal child marriage with her in Lahore. His brother, mother and over a dozen other relatives, as well as cleric Hafiz Ghulam Mustafa, who solemnised the marriage, and two eyewitnesses to it have been accused of aiding and abetting the alleged crime. Mustafa, and Asghar Ali, one of the two witnesses, are in judicial custody.
Rind was assigned the case investigation on July 20 after a court ordered the removal of the former IO, DSP Shaukat Shahani.
Shahani had previously submitted the final charge sheet recommending the court to dispose of the FIR lodged on the complaint of Zahra’s parents as “C class” for being “fake” as he claimed there was no evidence to prove the abduction and underage marriage charges.
A fresh investigation carried out into the case on the orders of the magistrate revealed that Zaheer was present in the city the day the girl went missing from her Malir Halt residence. The case will now come up for hearing on August 1, Monday, when the IO is required to submit the charge sheet.