‘We have been implicated on false charges’ | Pakistan Today

‘We have been implicated on false charges’

A n anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Thursday recorded the statements of the seven alleged accused, including six Rangers personnel, involved in the extrajudicial murder of an unarmed youth, inside the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Park in Clifton. The hearing was adjourned until Friday.
Rangers’ Sub-Inspector Bahaur Rehman, Lance Naik Liaquat Ali, Constables Mohammad Tariq, Manthar Ali, Shahid Zafar and Afzal Khan, and a park employee Afsar Khan appeared before ATC-I Judge Bashir Ahmed Khoso to record their statements and denied the charges levelled by the prosecution.
Terming the charges as baseless, the suspects stated that they have been implicated on false charges and repeated their defence statements, saying that they did not commit the offence.
On the occasion, the alleged accused nominated eight defence witnesses. Zafar named three witnesses, including Pakistan Rangers’ Colonel Salam, a Samaa TV official and an ambulance driver Muhammad Salman. Ali requested the court to summon Alamzeb, who had accused the deceased of robbing him and his wife. Whereas, Khan suggested the names of DIG Sultan Khwaja, the case investigation officer, DSP Altaf Hussain, and SI Nasrullah as his defence witnesses.
Meanwhile, the court rejected the defence plea, moved under Section 510 of the Criminal Procedure Code, requesting to summon ballistic and chemical experts in the court. On Wednesday, the court had reserved the verdict after hearing arguments from both sides.
After the court proceeding, special public prosecutor Muhammad Khan Buriro told journalists that the defence witnesses nominated by the accused have not been directed to appear before the court; however, they can appear if they want to.
The paramilitary soldiers and a civilian were booked for killing Sarfaraz Shah. The incident was recorded on film by a cameraman of a private TV channel. The TV footage showed that a Rangers’ personnel shot the boy twice, after a civilian had dragged him over to the troops, accusing him of robbery at a public park on June 8.
The case was registered against the alleged accused by the Boat Basin police under sections 302, 34 and 36 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act. A case (FIR 227/2011) under sections 302 and 34 PPC was lodged against the law enforcement agency personnel appearing in the video footage at the same police station on complaint of the victim’s brother. Later, Section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 was also incorporated in the FIR.
The police stated in the charge-sheet that the alleged accused had deliberately murdered the youth, by first causing injuries with common intention and by the act of commission of omission, they denied medical treatment to him, as he succumbed to his injuries due to excessive bleeding and lack of medical care.

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