KARACHI: Nearly two months after their arrest, the alleged Safoora Goth bus attackers were sent to jail on Thursday after investigators told the court that their presence in police custody was no longer required.
Tahir Hussain alias Saien, Saad Aziz alias Tin Tin and Asadur Rehman alias Malik were presented before an anti-terrorism court after their extended physical remand in police custody expired.
Since the ATC-I judge, who presides over the trial court, was on leave, the case was referred to the ATC-V judge, Jawaid Alam. Due to a number of cases already awaiting hearing in the link-court, it took a while for the suspects to have their turn before the judge.
Meanwhile, the suspects, with their identities concealed, sat in the court's corridor. They sat idly, cross-legged, leaning against the wall throughout their wait for the hearing.
The hearing lasted for at least 10 minutes during which policemen kept entering and leaving the room to attend to phone calls or to get files they had forgotten in the courtroom.
According to an informed source who was present during the hearing, the police simply submitted the remand papers of the suspects and told the judge that they were no longer required for the investigation. They pleaded to the judge to send the suspects to jail.
The judge, who had summoned the court's prosecutor to assist him in examining the documents, approved the police plea and sent the suspects to jail on judicial remand till July 27. The judge also directed the investigation officer of the case to submit the final investigation report at the next hearing.
The suspects have been sent to jail in almost all the cases against them. They have been charged with a number of offences, such as targeted killings and the bombings of schools, mosques and Imambargahs.
In the main case of the Safoora bus attack, in which 47 Ismailis were massacred when gunmen boarded their bus on May 13, so far seven 'key' witnesses have identified the three suspects as assailants.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2015.