Court extends Zahir Jaffer’s remand by three days

Senate committee recommends placing parents' names on Provisional National Identification List


Our Correspondent July 29, 2021
Zahir Jaffer being taken into police custody. PHOTO: Screengrab

ISLAMABAD:

An Islamabad court extended the physical remand of Zahir Jaffer who is accused of murdering and beheading Noor Mukadam by another three days. The suspect was brought to court under heavy security after the completion of his physical remand on Wednesday.

The counsel Sajid Cheema informed the court that the police have obtained closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage of the incident and they needed to take Zahir to Lahore for forensic analysis.

The defence lawyer said that they could take Zahir’s photo for forensic analysis. He added that the police have recovered the weapon and mobile phone from the suspect and an extension in physical remand was not needed.

The plaintiff’s lawyer, Shah Khawar, said that they were required to take Zahir to Lahore and would not have asked for physical remand if the photo was enough for the forensic analysis. The state counsel said that they took all suspects in the Usman Mirza case to Lahore as well. He contended that it would help to determine whether any editing has been done in the video.

He reiterated to extend the physical remand of the suspect until completion of the forensic analysis of the CCTV footage.

Read Zahir’s parents, guards sent on judicial remand

After the conclusion of arguments, the court reserved a decision and later announced an extension in physical remand.

Meanwhile, the Islamabad police has urged the media to avoid airing or publishing unconfirmed news related to the Noor Muqaddam case as such acts could affect the investigation process.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, a police spokesperson said that some television channels and social media outlets were spreading unverified news regarding the case. He added that no US official had met Zahir Zakir or any police officer while the accused’s parents were being dealt with as per the law.

Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights briefed

The Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights has recommended inserting the names of the parents of accused Zahir Jaffer in the Noor Muqaddam case in the Provisional National Identification List (PNIL) to prevent them from fleeing abroad. A meeting of the standing committee was held at the Parliament House on Wednesday during which the panel was briefed by Islamabad Police.

The committee members recommended including the names of Zahir’s parents in the exit control list. However, Federal Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari said that the process could take time.

She said that the investigation agency would first send a summary to the federal cabinet which would allow doing so. Therefore, as an instant measure, the minister said they would recommend including the names in PNIL.

Investigation SSP Ataur Rehman apprised that therapy workers had reached the crime scene before the police and Zahir injured one of them by stabbing him with a dagger. He added that the victim underwent surgery and his statement has not been recorded yet. At this, Mushahid Hussain Syed asked who informed the officials of the therapy centre about the incident. The minister responded that the suspect’s mother was informed of the incident by a domestic worker and she called the therapy centre and asked the workers to reach the home. She added that five staffers reached Zahir’s house and one of them informed the police.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2021.

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