Sarfraz Shah murder case: Rangers men plead innocence

Neither are we terrorists nor did we kill any one, Rangers tell court.

Zeeshan Mujahid August 04, 2011


All six men, including the Abdullah Shah Ghazi Rangers personnel, charged with killing an unarmed 22-year-old in broad daylight, pleaded innocence in court on Thursday, telling the judge that they had been falsely implicated.

They said that neither were they terrorists nor had they murdered anyone. They were on official duty at the time and had performed their duty, staying within the parameters of the law.

On June 8, the young victim, Sarfraz Shah, was shot in Clifton’s Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Park. The incident, captured on tape by a SAMAA TV crew, showed what appeared to be the young man pleading to be taken to a hospital. The footage was aired across Pakistan, sparking an outcry. The case is being heard in Anti-Terrorism Court (I) headed by Judge Bashir Ahmed Khoso, who had been conducting day-to-day hearings on the orders of the Supreme Court that took suo motu notice of the case.

In their defence, the Rangers men said that Sarfraz Shah was turned over to them as a dacoit. They said he attempted to snatch one of their rifles, and in the process, shots were fired.

One of the men standing trial, Shahid Zafar, who fired two shots injuring Shah, said that he along with co-accused Afzal Khan gave the victim water and took him to hospital where they remained until he died. He also stated that when the FIR was registered against them, they surrendered voluntarily.

Later, Shahid Zafar submitted a list of three defence witnessess, Colonel Salman of the Pakistan Rangers, the CEO of SAMAA TV or a representative, and Muhammad Saleem, the driver of the Chhipa ambulance that took Shah to Jinnah hospital.

For his part, the driver of the Rangers mobile van, co-accused Manthar Ali, named as a defence witness Alam Zaib, a police official who was allegedly robbed. Co-accused Afsar Khan, a civilian, named Investigating Officer DIG Sultan Khawaja, DSP Altaf Hussain and SIP Nasrullah of Boat Basin as his defence witnesses.

The court asked the accused men to produce the defence witnesses in court on Friday. If the need arises, then any witness can be called as a court witness, the ATC judge said.

Earlier in the day, the judge announced that he was rejecting the request by the defence to summon the chemical examiner and ballistics expert.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2011.


Saiful Haq | 11 years ago | Reply

The murder of this unarmed youth is nothing but a “Fake Encounter Killing”.Today an hon’ble Supreme Court in India has said Police personnel involved in fake encounter killings should be awarded death sentence and hanged.A bench of justices Markandeya Katju and C K Prasad said that police personnel as custodians of law are expected to protect people and not eliminate them as contract killers.“Fake encounter killings by cops are nothing but cold blooded brutal murder which should be treated as the rarest of rare offence and police personnel responsible for it should be awarded death sentence. They should be hanged,” Justice Katju, heading the bench, said.The killing of Sarfaraz Shah, which was indeed very shocking should also be treated on the same lines and the guilty should deserve nothing less than death penalty.

MH | 11 years ago | Reply

I believe they're about as guilty as it gets but, chances are, in this specific case, they have no hope anyways even if I'm wrong. They're probably not even getting their "fair trial" based on true desire. Their complacent carelessness caught on camera effectively made them good publicity for the judicial system. They'll do it by the book and they'll convict them. That much has probably already been decided. The information the media gets is an important part of their goal, too. The hope shown for them is only there because they want the public to see that they have a fair chance in the system at this point. Next is the conviction to show that the system does work to protect them and the proof that the process does work regardless of any naysayers.

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