A man accused of extorting Rs70,000 was formally charged by Anti-Terrorism Court I on Thursday, after being detained by the man he had allegedly targeted as his victim.
In November 2011, Hafizullah reportedly called a man and asked him to pay Rs200,000 in extortion. The sum was negotiated down to Rs70,000 and on November 25 at around noon, Hafizullah and his accomplices came to a market in Sohrab Goth to make good on their demand.
The alleged victim first paid the men Rs50,000, and then Hafizullah and his accomplices asked for the remaining Rs20,000. The man paid up, but also reportedly created a commotion in the market and alerted people to his predicament. People nearby and the complainant managed to catch the alleged extortionists. The Sohrab Goth police arrived and arrested Hafizullah. They also found a .22-bore pistol as well as three rounds, and the Rs20,000 he had just been paid in extortion. His accomplices are being considered as absconders by the court.
The court charged that Hafizullah had, according to the Anti-Terrorism Act, spread fear and insecurity in society and endangered a life. If found guilty, he could serve a minimum of one and a maximum of ten years in prison, and could be fined. The First Information Reports (806/2011 and 807/2011) were filed with charges of extorting money by threatening injuries or death and abetment, as well as possession of weapons.
The case will next be heard on June 6.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 1st, 2012.
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