ATC awards three death sentences to man in Chunian case

A JIT was constituted to probe cases of missing children

Rana Yasif December 17, 2019
Lahore anti-terrorism court hands down sentences to Sohail Shahzad, 27, who was arrested in October. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) awarded three death penalties on three counts to convict Sohail Shehzad for kidnapping, sodomising and murdering four minors in Chunian police precincts.

The convict was awarded death penalties under section 302, 367-A of PPC as well as section 7(a) of Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997. The ATC also awarded life imprisonment to the convict under section 377 of the PPC. A fine of Rs3 million and Rs200,000 compensation to the heirs of deceased was also imposed on the convict.

The court awarded death sentence in 367-A Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) with fine of Rs1 million and in case of default the convict shall go for further six months imprisonment. The second death sentence in 302-B with direction to give compensation of Rs200,000 to the legal heirs of the deceased and in case of default the convict shall suffer six months imprisonment. The third death sentence was awarded in 7 (a) of ATA 1997 with fine of Rs1 million in default the convict shall face six months imprisonment.

Body of another minor found in Chunian

Life imprisonment was awarded to the convict under section 377 PPC with fine of Rs1 million in default the convict shall face six months imprisonment.

During arguments, Deputy Prosecutor General Abdul Rauf Wattoo had contended the court that substantial evidences were available on record which established the involvement of the convict in heinous crimes. The judge announced the verdict after Wattoo succeeded in establishing the case against the convict.

The issue surfaced when a man Arif informed the police on helpline after he found the body at a deserted area. When police reached there, they (police officials) informed Ramzan, the father of victim Faizan, who recognised his son. As per the FIR the complainant’s son went out of the house to play but did not turn up.

When other children went missing, the people took to streets after the abduction and murders of the minors and a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) was constituted including RPO Shaikhupura, DPO Kasur and SP investigation.

Initially, the convict was produced in one FIR relating to the abduction, sodomising and killing of Faizan alias Mithu (8) as the rest of the matter was being probed by the JIT. Later, the convict was produced in the rest of the FIRs under similar charges. Faizan was abducted on September 16, 2019, and the FIR was registered on the same day.

The body of minor was found on September 17. At which the legal requirements were made.

Police found the clothes of Faizan and Ali Hassnain. On September 19, the DNA of an unidentified man was found on clothes as a result of which police and Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA) team started to take samples of suspects. On September 29, the DNA of 101 suspects were obtained including convict Sohail Shehzad.

On October 1, the DNA of convict was matched with the DNA found on the clothes of Faizan and Hassnain. The PFSA team captured the shoe prints photos, then police crime scene team collected shoe molds, the same shoes have been recovered from the convict after his arrest.

Chunian suspect remanded in physical custody

The JIT visited occurrence place and found also some marks of auto tyres and then it was decided that the auto drivers be investigated.

The JIT, in its first phase, initiated to collect DNA from locals in one kilometre radius requesting them to cooperate with police. When JIT found marks of auto rickshaw tyres, it was decided to investigate the rickshaw drivers also. The posts were established to get routine DNA tests of the auto rickshaws.

The record of history sheeters was also included in the investigation process. The data from all police stations was recovered.

The convict was arrested by police on October 1. The age of the kidnaped and murdered children was stated to be between eight and 12 years who had gone missing since June. 

Published in The Express Tribune, December 18th, 2019.


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