KARACHI: The Supreme Court asked the anti-terrorism court to conclude a trial on Friday for the murder of Perween Rahman, the head of the Orangi Pilot Project (OPP), in compliance with the law.
Five of the accused is charged with her murder: Abdul Raheem Swati, his son Mohammad Imran Swati, and three co-accused: Ayaz Shamzai aka Swati, Amjad Hussain Khan and Ahmed Khan aka Ahmed Ali aka Pappu Kashmiri.
On March 13, 2013, Ms Rahman was shot to death near her office in Orangi City.
In September, Karachi’s ATC-XIII judge was asked by the Supreme Court to complete the trial within one month after the fourth joint inquiry by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) ended a re-investigation of the apex court’s directives.
Notice to Gizri SHO on plea for FIR registration over killing of five suspects in DHA ‘encounter’
Judicial sources told Dawn that in November, the ATC-XIII judge had given the SC a paper mentioning the progress of the case. The trial court has asked the supreme court to allow more time for the trial to end, which is still pending, the sources said.
In the meantime the sources reported that the term of office of the ATC-XIII judge had expired on 23 November. The matter was however, referred to ATC-IV for further proceedings.
The judicial sources suggested that the supreme court had received a letter ordering the judge of ATC-IV to complete the trial in compliance with the statute.
Following a restraining order passed by the Sindh High Court against the passage of the judgement without collecting evidence of the heads of three joint investigation teams (JITs) set up to probe the murder of Ms Rahman, the trial in the high-profile case remained stuck for around one and a half years.
The judge of ATC-XIII had previously reported declarations of the convicted parties according to Section 342 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
However the petitioner, the sister of the murdered activist, had approached the SHC to obtain evidence from the heads of the three JITs and also sent a separate plea to the SC for a new inquiry into the murder by the FIA that indicated “mistrust” in the Sindh police.
According to the prosecutor, during questioning, some of the defendants convicted had admitted to their complicity in the murder and stated that local Awami National Party (ANP) officials reportedly recruited Taliban militants to kill the activist.
Plea for FIR in DHA ‘encounter’ case
On Friday, a session court sent a notice to the Gizri SHO on an appeal seeking registration of a criminal case against police officials for allegedly killing five suspects in the Defense Housing Authority in a ‘false’ encounter.
On December 10, the SHO Gizri was directed by the additional district and session judge (South) to file a report.
Police reported that five suspects had been killed for allegedly entering a bungalow near Imambargah Yasrab in DHA Phase 4 with the intention of committing a burglary on Nov 27.
Under Section 22-A of the CrPC, Laila Parveen, a local PTI chief, filed an application seeking advice from the SP (complaints cell) and Gizri SHO to file a FIR against police officers allegedly involved in the ‘staged’ encounter.
Ms Parveen, the owner of the bungalow, said that the officials of the Gizri police station took away her driver, Abbas, from her house and later killed him along with four others dubbed as alleged robbers.
The complainant further submitted that the officials showed that the encounter took place in her bungalow, but there was not a single bullet mark anywhere in the house to support their point.
She alleged that her driver, Abbas, who was an innocent man who was neither implicated nor sought by the police in any criminal case, had been killed by authorities.
She claimed that the police officers of the Gizri Police Station washed the crime scene to remove the evidence after the suspected encounter, which was also a criminal act.
The complainant claimed that police officials had refused to allow the slain driver to conduct an impartial post-mortem examination, adding that the body was still lying in the mortuary.