ISLAMABAD: Imtiaz Ahmed, alias Taji Khokhar, a suspect in the death of a young man who was allegedly murdered over a land dispute, appeared before a trial court on Tuesday.
Imtiaz appeared before Additional District and Sessions Judge (East) Muhammad Azam Khan escorted by dozens of security guards. Due to Imtiaz’s presence in the district court, litigants were inconvenienced as they were stopped from entering the court in his presence.
The court adjourned the case till June 6, directing him to appear in person so that the case could proceed. Imtiaz’s counsel Sardar Ishaq requested the court to exempt his client from appearing on the next date of hearing due to security reasons. The judge asked him to ensure his client’s presence, stating that the court would provide security.
On June 17, the court had issued arrest warrants for Imtiaz and other suspects involved in the murder of Khalid Farooq, a resident of Dhoke Gangal. The FIR was registered by Koral police some three weeks later on February 12, against Imtiaz, Imran Shahzad, Sajid Hussain and Muhammad Tanveer for killing Farooq under Section 302. The police had arrested three suspected murderers, but they could not arrest Imtiaz, who belongs to a politically influential family. In a written statement, the complainant accused Investigation Officer (IO) Arshad Ali of trying to protect Imtiaz, on whose orders Farooq was allegedly killed.
Complainant Aneesul Arifeen had maintained that Imtiaz was an influential land grabber due to which the police were trying to destroy evidence against him. He informed the court that the charge-sheet the IO had submitted before the court did not include Imtiaz’s name and he had not been arrested.
According to the FIR, Imtiaz had tried to occupy Farooq’s land, and when he resisted the attempt, Khokhar and his accomplices killed him. Farooq had been living with his family in Dhoke Gangal since 1980. Imtiaz is former premier’s adviser on human rights Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar’s uncle and former NA deputy speaker Nawaz Khokhar’s brother. Imtiaz is also accused of involvement in the murder of Sabira Bibi, who had challenged his alleged attempt to occupy her land in court. The murder case is pending before the SC.
He had escaped to Dubai after his name was placed on the ECL. Imtiaz returned after getting pre-arrest bail in the first week of June.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 26th, 2013.