Ghulam Rasul, the Rangers soldier who gunned down taxi driver Mureed Ali, was on Thursday brought to a Karachi court and remanded into police custody till July 22. The Supreme Court also took suo motu notice of the incident and fixed the hearing for today.
A case has also been registered against the Rangers soldier at the Gulistan-e-Jauhar police station by Mureed’s widow, Dua.
In Islamabad, the suo motu notice was taken by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry which was put by the registrar of the court. A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Chaudhry, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed will hear the matter.
The suspended Rasul was arrested and presented before the Judicial Magistrate South, Erum Jahangir, in Karachi, who also directed the police to submit a charge sheet against him on the next date of hearing.
The investigation officer produced him in court. The officer pleaded for custody of the suspect since the investigation was yet to be completed and his other Rangers colleagues present at the scene had yet to be arrested. Police have recovered the weapon used in the incident.
Mureed was driving his son Zohaib to a doctor near their home in Gulistan-e-Jauhar for an upset stomach and to buy fruit for Iftar when he was shot dead by Rasul for reportedly not stopping his vehicle after he was signalled to stop on July 16.
Judicial Magistrate Jahangir allowed physical custody of the suspect to police till July 22. The investigation officer was directed to present him on the next date along with the charge sheet.
In June 2011, Rangers personnel shot dead 19-year-old student Sarfraz Shah in a public park in Karachi in an incident that was filmed live and broadcast on television.
On that occasion too, the chief justice had taken suo motu notice of the incident and had ordered the transfer of the director general Rangers and the inspector general of police of Sindh, noting that they were both negligent in handling the case.
The court had observed that the entire terms of reference under which the Rangers were deployed in Sindh had to be reviewed and that the officials concerned should have resigned of their own accord after the incident.
Though the Rangers have been deployed to control the volatile law and order situation in Karachi, its role has been questioned several times and recently the Pakistan Peoples Party had accused the paramilitary force of carrying out extra-judicial killings in the city’s troubled neighborhood of Lyari.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2013.
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