Father demands death penalty for suspect in Noor murder

ISLAMABAD: The father of Noor Mukadam Saturday demanded capital punishment for Zahir Zakir Jaffer, the prime suspect in the high-profile murder of the Islamabad-based young woman, as he recorded his statement in a district and sessions court in Islamabad.

Noor, 27, was found murdered at the residence of Jaffer in Sector F-7/4 of Islamabad in July. Zakir, widely believed to be the killer, was arrested the same day for his purported involvement in the gruesome incident.

A first information report registered on the complaint of Shaukat Ali Mukadam, the victim’s father, nominated Jaffer under Section 302 (premeditated murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

Jaffer’s parents — Zakir Jaffer and Asmat Adamjee — three domestic staff and six workers of Therapy Works — an Islamabad-based organisation providing mental health services that employed Jaffer and Adamjee — were arrested days later on charges of abetting the murder.

Months later, in October, the sessions court indicted Jaffer along with 11 other suspects — his parents, the household staff, Therapy Works boss Tahir Zahoor and his staff — in the case.

The trial formally commenced on October 20.

In his statement recorded before Additional District and Sessions Judge Atta Rabbani, Mukadam, a former ambassador, said he did not have a “personal enmity” with anyone.

But since “my daughter was unjustly killed”, her killer “Zahir Jaffer should be handed a death sentence,” he demanded.

Recounting the events on July 19, the day his daughter was murdered, Mukadam said he and his wife had left for some chores and when he returned to his house, Noor was not there.

Noor had still not returned when her mother came back which worried the two and prompted them to call their daughter but her mobile was switched off.

It was at this point, Shaukat said he started searching for her and when Noor finally picked up her phone, she told him she was going to Lahore with her friends for a few days and asked him to not worry.

In the afternoon on July 20, Jaffer called Mukadam on two numbers and told him Noor was not with him.

But later in the day, at 10:00 pm, he received a call from Kohsar police station, informing him that his daughter had been killed and asking him to visit the police station.

Mukadam said on reaching the police station, he was taken to a house that belonged to the suspect’s family. When Mukadam went inside, he saw that Noor “was brutally murdered and decapitated”.

The retired diplomat then recalled that on July 23, he was called for an investigation and recovery of Noor’s mobile and added that when he visited the police station the following day during Jaffer’s interrogation, the accused revealed he had called Noor over on July 18 and confiscated her mobile prior to killing her.

Upon visiting Zahir’s residence, the phone was found in a closet, Shaukat said.

Meanwhile, the court was informed that Jaffer’s lawyer had contracted Covid-19. At this, the court adjourned the hearing until January 17.

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