PESHAWAR: The family of medical student Asma Rani, who was murdered in Kohat last month, filed a petition in the Peshawar High Court (PHC) requesting the case to be transferred to Peshawar as they are receiving death threats from the family of prime accused in Kohat.
The petition was filed by Asma Rani’s brother Muhammad Irfan. Irfan also asked the court to transfer the bail application of accused Shah Zeb to Peshawar as he was not able to follow the case in Kohat.
Asma's family currently resides in Kohat and claim that the suspect's family has immense political influence in their local district. Their influence in the district likely to influence the case, the victim's family says. They claim that even local lawyers are not ready to take the case because of the influence of the accused.
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Chief Justice Peshawar High Court (PHC) Yahya Afridi who heard the case on Friday, sought complete record of the case within a week and issued notices to the accused party.
Asma Rani was a third-year medical student in Abbottabad visiting her hometown Kohat when she was shot dead, allegedly by Mujahid Ullah Afridi and an accomplice. Asma Rani had rejected Afridi’s marriage proposal.
After committing the crime, the prime accused, Mujahid, fled the country.
K-P police issued a red warrant and wrote a letter to Interpol to arrest him. Interpol has placed the accused on its most-wanted list.
“Asma’s family along with the lawyers are facing threats and are not ready to take her case in the sessions court,” said lawyers Ghulam Mohiuddin Malik and Muhammad Farooq Malik, who appeared in front of CJ Afridi. “For dispensation of justice, it is necessary to transfer the case to PHC.”
“The accused are mighty influential and have an impressive strength in the Kohat district. On each day of the hearing, they come to the court with a huge number of supporters, putting Asma’s relatives under pressure and harassment; threatening their lives and creating a hostile atmosphere in the court,” they added.
Lawyers further highlighted the political pressure on the case. The accused party has a strong political background as the suspect is close relatives with members of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
They added that accused's family are permanent residents of Kohat and his close relatives are members/district president of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). One of them is a member of the National Assembly and other relatives are practicing law in district courts of Kohat.
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“We have tried our best and used all the resources to engage a local lawyer but no one was ready accept and argue the case in the court in Kohat,” lawyers added.
“Hence, the bail application of one of the accused and case of the prime accused be transferred to Peshawar,” the lawyers urged the court.
CJ Afridi further directed the investigation officer of the case to present the complete record of the case before the court within a week. The next hearing will be held on Friday, March 2.