ATC rejects bail in Perween Rahman murder case

Counsel says there is concrete evidence against the accused


Our Correspondent March 13, 2019
Social Activist Parveen Rehman. PHOTO: NPR

KARACHI: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) rejected on Tuesday the bail plea of an accused in the murder case of Orangi Pilot Project Director Perween Rahman.

The court heard the bail plea of accused, Imran Swati, and rejected it. The accused had also approached the Sindh High Court (SHC) for bail but later, withdrew his plea.  The plaintiff's counsel, Salahuddin Panhwar, said that there was concrete evidence against the accused and requested that the plea for bail be rejected. The police have booked Raheem Swati, Mohammad Imran Swati, Ayaz Khan, Mohammad Amjad Hussain and others in the murder case.

Rahman was shot dead on March 13, 2013 for raising her voice against land grabbing in Orangi Town.

Arguments sought

An ATC sought arguments after the counsel of the accused, booked in the case pertaining to the attack on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MPA Ramzan Ghanchi, moved an application to transfer the case to a sessions court.

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Ghanchi did not appear before the court despite court orders. The court had ordered that the MPA would be summoned if needed. Salman Soomro and his sons, Shahnawaz Soomro and Ali Nawaz Soomro appeared before the court.

Ali is the vice-chairman of UC-16 and is affiliated with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). The counsel for the accused, Amir Mansoob, argued that there was a personal dispute between the two parties and the case thus, does not fall under the Anti-Terrorism Act and should be referred to a sessions court.The court, seeking arguments, adjourned the hearing till March 19. The court also ordered the investigation officer (IO) to submit the final challan.

According to the police, the incident took place over a water dispute. Ghanchi had refused to give an illegal water supply connection in Napier area on January 25, 2019. He got into a quarrel with the UC Chairman and his brothers. Ali Nawaz Soomro and his brother Shahnawaz Soomro had attacked Ghanchi, who was injured in firing.

Proceedings initiated

An ATC ordered the IO on Tuesday to initiate proceedings to declare six Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) workers, accused of inciting violence in the city, absconders.  The court also ordered the IO to present the report and adjourned the hearing till March 26. Saqib Qadri, Mehfooz Ali, Altaf Hussain, Jameel Qadri, Farman Jetline Wala and Noman AB are among the accused. According to the police, the accused are booked under charges of encounter, siege and arson, etc. The case against the suspects is registered at the Brigade Police Station.

With additional reporting from PPI 

Published in The Express Tribune, March 13th, 2019.

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