The day a ‘waderay ka beta’ appeared before court

Published: January 8, 2013

More than two dozen policemen brought the three suspects.

KARACHI: With a thick brown shawl draped over his head and hands cuffed tightly underneath, Nawab Siraj Talpur, one of the prime suspects in the Shahzeb Khan murder case, was finally brought by law enforcers to the Anti-Terrorism Court on Monday.

Used to sitting on comfortable sofas all his life, the son of a feudal elite was seated on a hard wooden bench outside the courtroom, waiting for his turn. The band of gun-totting guards that used to accompany him around the city was replaced with over two dozen policemen.

Early on in the day, there were hints that this was going to be no ordinary day at court. “Have you heard the song ‘Waderay ka Beta’?” a guard said in hushed tones as he smiled.  The real drama began an hour before noon. The calm sea of cameramen and reporters, who had been waiting patiently – some for up to three hours – by the main gate, began to stir as two Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) carrying the suspects rolled in at around 11am. The APCs were accompanied by a police van packed with law enforcers. When the vehicles came to a halt in the dusty parking ground by the building, cameramen positioned their equipment, hungry for a shot of the man who had slipped past the police for 10 days before he was busted in Dadu.

Unfortunately for them, police officials chose to keep the suspects inside the APCs – Siraj and his brother Sajjad in one vehicle and the cook Ghulam Murtaza in the other – until the proceedings of the ongoing hearings had been wrapped up. The policemen, headed by Special Investigation Unit chief Farooq Awan and DSP Usman Asghar, guarded the vehicle carefully. But most of the law enforcers had not even seen Siraj’s face. “To be honest, even I haven’t seen the suspects’ faces as yet,” DSP Usman Asghar told The Express Tribune.

“I don’t even know which one of the hooded men is Siraj.” Though there was a flurry of activity outside both vehicles, with law enforcers pacing about them and reprimanding adventurous cameramen, the APCs themselves did not move until noon. When it was time for the passengers to get off, the vehicles were backed up close to the staircase outside the building so that the suspects could quickly clamber up to court room number three.

Once outside the courtroom, the three suspects, who were chained together, were made to sit on a hard wooden bench and a wall of law enforcers occluded them from cameras’ lenses. Between the gaps, one could catch a glimpse of Siraj, who was very lean and appeared to be somewhere between five and six feet tall. He was clad in a dark brown shalwar kameez and moccasins. Apparently Siraj was very nervous, as he shook his leg impatiently and rocked back and forth beneath the shawl as he waited outside the courtroom for nearly 20 minutes. His brother, who looked stockier, was clad in an off-white shalwar kameez also appeared to be uncomfortable. Though their faces were concealed, one could clearly tell the brothers from the cook, who wore cheaper Hyderabadi sandals and a green shalwar kameez.

The suspects were finally called inside at around 12:38pm. As the shawls were about to be whipped off, a cacophony of clicks filled the air – but once again, no dice. The three suspects had been hooded for good measure. Just under five minutes, they emerged from the courtroom, having been remanded to police custody for 10 days. They were taken straight to the APCs waiting for them on the ground floor and sped off, leaving reporters and cameramen a little disappointed that they didn’t exactly get what they had come for.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 8th, 2013.

Reader Comments (28)

  • Majid
    Jan 8, 2013 - 1:03AM

    All hail to CJ and thanks to Mian Nawaz Sharif for restoring CJ.

    Recommend

  • Sindhi_Awam
    Jan 8, 2013 - 2:24AM

    One more reporting with evident hate filled headline with Sindhi word “Wadera”. Strongly condemn it. Pls report it as one person of a society. Why to malign all land owners on the basis of one case. Stop spewing hate. It is no service but propaganda which will fire back. Thousands of people killed in Karachi. How many killers were Sindhis, and Waderas? Not to play with ethnic fire and blame all land owners with such petty headlines. ET is giving out of proportion coverage to this singular issue not for the sake of justice but it seems to provide a platform for hate spewing and racial slurring against Sindhis. Wish sanity prevail.

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  • MK
    Jan 8, 2013 - 2:36AM

    ..Because it wasn’t them.

    Boom.

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  • SHADI
    Jan 8, 2013 - 5:28AM

    Perhaps the most witty and yet admirable article ever written on Tribune.

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  • Pakistani
    Jan 8, 2013 - 10:02AM

    Special thanks to CJ but i must highlight here that we always see the faces of the victims of rape or other criminal activities has shown to public at large but they always hide the faces of criminals.

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  • Saad
    Jan 8, 2013 - 10:39AM

    Well written, my friend.

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  • Ali
    Jan 8, 2013 - 10:46AM

    I don’t understand the reason why these alleged perpetrators should be hooded. Shouldn’t their faces be seen by everyone?

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  • Fahd
    Jan 8, 2013 - 12:11PM

    I wonder why the suspect’s face is covered by Police. He should be shown to the world all chained-up. This way people can actually see the culprits and the police will have to present the real person as, if the faces are covered, nobody knows who is the actual person inside the cover.

    Dont know whether the person inside the cover was actually Talpur or was the ‘wadere ka beta’ actually having a cup of tea at home and watching someone else being presenetd at court.

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  • aziz
    Jan 8, 2013 - 12:58PM

    if every case of murder is pursued with such intensity, there will be no murders in Karachi.

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  • Law
    Jan 8, 2013 - 1:03PM

    As the shawls were about to be whipped off, a cacophony of clicks filled the air – but once again, no dice.

    WOW. Incredibly ostentatious writing for a factual news article. This isn’t a column piece. ET your writing standards need a rethink.

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  • Real pakistani
    Jan 8, 2013 - 1:39PM

    Can anybody explain under which law the faces of culprits are covered?

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  • Much Amused
    Jan 8, 2013 - 2:55PM

    Innocent until found guilty. There are enough photographs of the accused floating around in print and posters etc.

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  • Human
    Jan 8, 2013 - 3:36PM

    Maybe this CJ is just fooling us the two waderay k batay are already out of Pakistan & two innocents are put under that shawl
    think about it people

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  • Lyari
    Jan 8, 2013 - 4:46PM

    There are many wh dies in this city by the Urban Wedaras but that all go unheard. Though what happened to Shahzeb was not right. But everyday the those Urban waderas children are doing in this city is ignored.

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  • Anti-Burger
    Jan 8, 2013 - 4:58PM

    <p! Who are you to judge anyone and gave your verdicts even before the trial! Need some refresher course in journalism! Btw the deceased guy too was no innocent. Also, being the son of a landlord does not make you a criminal. Grow up people!Recommend

  • RA
    Jan 8, 2013 - 6:27PM

    Great reporting and well written, my friend

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  • Nabidad Khan — Sharjah
    Jan 8, 2013 - 6:53PM

    “Justice may be blind but it can see in the Dark.” God Bless respectable Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry always.

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  • Shameema
    Jan 8, 2013 - 6:53PM

    Who’s to know if they were the true culprits and not some poor minions made to take their place. Photograph them, shame them!

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  • AA
    Jan 8, 2013 - 6:55PM

    1) PM/Agencies appeared in the court
    2) Zardari bared from political activities
    3) Bhai first time ever apologized unconditionally
    4) Wadere ka beta arrested within 24 hours of the order

    People should realize now who is the King

    Recommend

  • shocked (former) pakistani
    Jan 8, 2013 - 7:31PM

    It appears from this article that the people under the shawls were not the real culprits. Why are accused people’s faces hidden under shawls? Perhaps so that the police can catch a scapegoat hide him under a shawl and pose them to be the accused. Wonderful Pakland.

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  • C3PO
    Jan 8, 2013 - 7:48PM

    @Majidnjabi

    Yeah hail your Punjabi CJ and his ally Nawaz.
    who he is defending from the beginninng.

    Ever wondered why the CJ didnot take any SUOMUTTO on Shabaz Sharifs son in law for thrashing the bakery worker in public or for the ill gotten billion pound worth of real estates
    in the UK ? It is so obvious .CJ is partial to the core .

    Recommend

  • Sara
    Jan 8, 2013 - 8:21PM

    “Somewhere between five and six feet tall” what kind of description is that? Its hardly specific.

    Good job Tribune for being one of the first news outlets to report this story, however, from the first report to this one today, there is a strong bias in all.

    It is understandable that an injustice was done, and yes the elite get away with a lot. But unless this is an opinion piece there is no need for lines like “Used to sitting on comfortable sofas all his life, the son of a feudal elite was seated on a hard wooden bench outside the courtroom.”

    We don’t care what they may or may not have sat on. As a newspaper perhaps you should stick to the facts.

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  • Umar Riaz
    Jan 8, 2013 - 8:27PM

    Nice reporting and well wriiten but, “Siraj, somewhere between five and six feet tall”. 98% of Pakistani men are between 5 and 6. Should have been more preciseor do not mention :-)

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  • Ley dasso
    Jan 8, 2013 - 9:30PM

    Incredibly naive…

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  • Zia
    Jan 8, 2013 - 11:57PM

    Sara is right, what she meant is that you should have went with the laser guided length measurement device to report precise hight of the occused so 97% Pakistani men are spared and to put an end to speculations that they were other then the actual suspects.

    Also time to allocate funds for comfortable Sofas in court rooms as public service. All going there are innocent until proven guilty.

    Recommend

  • Ali Baloch
    Jan 9, 2013 - 2:36AM

    After seeing countless articles against the Sindhi and Baloch people being victimised I think it’s safe to say this time you won’t need an Army Operation the Media is doing a fine job of breaking Pakistan and pitting one ethnicity against another.

    Recommend

  • Shahrukh
    Jan 9, 2013 - 4:51AM

    the article is almost comical, the country is a joke and the perpetrators are cowards, please execute them asap

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  • Aysha
    Jan 9, 2013 - 5:36AM

    @Majid:
    May justice prevail in Arsalan case also

    Recommend

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