KARACHI: The ambulance driver who transported Irshad Ranjhani to the hospital after he was shot and injured has made some startling revelations to the police investigators. The revelations came to the fore in the challan that was submitted to the administrative judge of anti-terrorism courts (ATCs) on Tuesday, which approved the scrutiny note of the government lawyer and sent it to the ATC no. 18 with the challan.
According to the challan, the ambulance driver said that the deceased was shifted to the police station in an injured condition from the place of incident. After 15 to 20 minutes, the ambulance shifted Ranjhani to the hospital accompanied by a police officer. The main accused, Rahim Shah, followed the ambulance on a motorcycle and after overtaking the ambulance, forced them to stop.
Ranjhani and UC Nazim's weapons sent for forensic tests
Shah got off from his motorcycle, came towards the ambulance and ordered them to look straight ahead. He had a pistol in his hand. He said something to the police officer and then the sound of the back door of the ambulance opening was heard. A gunshot rang out and a high-pitched scream of the already injured Ranjhani was also heard.
The driver added, "The police officer told me to keep quiet and drive the ambulance to the hospital". Shah then ran away with the man riding the motorcycle. The driver said, "Ranjhani had passed away by the time we reached the hospital". The driver said that due to the fear of Shah, he did not tell the police about these details earlier.
The challan against the accused did not include sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA). Deputy prosecutor declared that the incident was a terrorism incident and recommended to include the sections of Anti-Terrorism Act.
The government lawyer Abdul Qadeer Memon wrote the scrutiny note over the omission of terrorism section in the case which mentions that Section 7 of ATA had not been imposed against the accused in the case. The job of investigation officer is to gather the evidence, the sections of ATA were removed from the challan despite evidence and without explanation, said Memon. The administrative judge, approving the scrutiny note, sent the case to ATC no. 18.
Baldia factory fire
After recording the statement of the factory's production in-charge, an ATC sought on Tuesday more witnesses in the Baldia Factory fire case for the next hearing.
The public prosecutor, Sajid Mehboob Sheikh, presented the factory's production in-charge before the court to give his statement. The witness revealed that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leaders set the factory on fire when the owners failed to give them extortion money. The witness confirmed the extortion of factory owners by MQM.
He shared that the factory owners said that the accused, Rehman Bhola, had demanded Rs250 million as extortion along with partnership in the factory. When the owners asked Bhola on whose orders were they doing this, the accused responded that it was on the orders of Hammad Siddiqui, a former in-charge of MQM's Karachi Tanzeemi Committee. When asked to reduce the extortion money to Rs10 million, Bhola replied the money wouldn't be reduced to any less than Rs200 million. The accused had warned of serious repercussions if the amount was not paid.
The accused set the factory on fire because the issue related to extortion were not being settled, said the production in-charge.
Abidi murder case
An ATC issued non-bailable arrest warrants of the absconding accused, Hasnain, Bilal and Ghulam Mustafa alias Kali Charan, in the Ali Raza Abidi murder case.
The court directed to arrest the accused and present them before the court. The arrested accused include Muhammad Farooq, Muhammad Ghazali, Abu Bakr and Abdul Haseeb.
According to the challan, they were given Rs800,000 as head money by an unidentified person near Hussaini building. The motorcycle used in the murder was later set on fire.
Abidi was killed outside his house on December 25, 2019.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 10th, 2019.