Sarfraz Shah murder: Case moves forward amid objections and testimonies

Published: July 16, 2011

Defence counsel blames media for biasing the trial; gardener Ramzan records his eyewitness account. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

KARACHI: 

The electronic media covering the trial of six officials of Abdullah Shah Ghazi Rangers involved in the killing of Sarfraz Shah are allegedly airing “tickers” that affect the prosecution witnesses, complained a defence counsel, Shaukat Hayat advocate.

Earlier the television channels ran tickers regarding the order of the Anti Terrorism Court (ATC-I) presided over by Judge Bashir Ahmed Khoso.

The judge summoned the Inspector General Police (IG) as Investigation Officer (IO) of the Sarfraz Shah murder case since DIG Sultan Khwaja was absent. The court, taking notice of the IO’s absence, asked the Special Public Prosecutor Muhammad Khan Buriro to convey the stipulated order to the IGP. During this development, the tickers were aired.

The IO later appeared before the court and said that he could not appear because he was busy in important meetings held by his superiors regarding the precarious law and order situation of the city. The court asked him to produce the prosecution witnesses (PWs) after which he was allowed to leave to attend his other engagements.

The court, acting on the complaint by the defence counsel, ordered that reporters could not leave court proceedings mid-way to prevent tickers from leaking any more information.

More witnesses examined

The court examined two more PWs, including the first IO, on Friday.

Inspector Faqir Dad of Boat Basin police station talked about the arrests, the recovery of case property, including a G-3 rifle used in offence, and the Rangers’ mobile van.

Earlier the court examined an eyewitness Ramzan, a gardener of City District Government Karachi, who was posted at the site of the incident — the Mohtarma Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Park in Clifton.

In his examination, the PW stated that on June 8, he was at the park when at 5 pm, he saw a man in white clothes dragging a young man in black and white clothes [Sarfraz Shah] towards the park’s food court.

According to the official, the man clad in white handed over the other man to the Rangers.

“I heard two gunshots and I saw the young man bleeding near the food court, while armed Rangers were also present at the site. It was a terrible sight,” claimed the shuddering witness.

He further added that a while after the incident, he left the place in panic to offer Asr prayers in the vicinity. “After 40 to 45 minutes, I gathered courage to revisit the place since my motorcycle was parked there. Yet when I arrived there, neither the injured boy nor the Rangers were in sight,” the PW said during his examination in chief by Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Muhammad Khan Buriro.

Ramzan revealed that he saw the footage of the killing on television the following day which left him terrorised. “I was subsequently called by my officers to record a statement before the police in relation to the said incident,” he said in response to a question by the defence side.

The court has adjourned further proceedings till Saturday morning.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2011.

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