ATC begins trial of ‘killer’ Rangers today

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An anti-terrorism court (ATC) issued production orders of six Rangers personnel and one informer of Rangers on Tuesday in the Sarfraz Shah murder case. The case was transferred to the ATC-I for a formal trial and the judge issued production orders of the suspects on Wednesday (today) to conduct the case proceeding.
The challan against six Rangers personnel out of seven allegedly involved in the extrajudicial killing was submitted by the Sindh High Court’s administrative judge to ATC-I Judge Bashir Ahmed Khoso.
Earlier, DIG Sultan Khawaja, who is heading the investigation team, and Special Public Prosecutor Arshad Iqbal Cheema had handed over the final charge sheet to the court after scrutinising all collected evidences and other documents.
Seven suspects, including sub-inspector Bahaur Rehman, lance naik Liaquat Ali, constable Mohammad Tariq, van driver Manthar Ali, Shahid Zafar, Afzal Khan and an employee of the city government’s park department (Rangers informer) Afsar Khan, were arrested on the charge of killing an unarmed civilian inside the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Park in Clifton on June 8.
Initially, the paramilitary force’s officials claimed a bandit was killed in an encounter and lodged a criminal case against him at the Boat Basin police station. However, later in the same day, television channels aired the video footage of the brutal killing, showing actually what had happened and exposed the law enforcers’ barbaric act.
The captured video showed uniformed Rangers personnel thrashing unarmed Sarfaraz Shah and shot him twice at point-blank range. The victim writhed in pain a pool of blood, begging the security personnel to take him to a hospital, but they took no action while the alleged bandit died in front of their eyes.
Taking suo motu notice of the incident, the Chief Justice of Pakistan ordered the removal of the Sindh Inspector General of Police and Pakistan Rangers-Sindh Director General within three days or stopping their salaries, otherwise.
Consequently, a case (FIR 227/2011), under sections 302 and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code, was lodged at the same police station on complaint of the victim’s brother Salik Shah, against the Rangers personnel appearing in the video footage. Later, Section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 was also incorporated in FIR.
The suspects were sent to jail in judicial custody on the directives of Karachi ATC administrative judge Justice Maqbool Baqir.