KARACHI: A suspect was indicted by an anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Saturday after he was nominated in the murder case of 10-year-old Amal Umer in Karachi.
Amal Umer, who was travelling along with her parents in their car, had died after she was hit by a bullet fired by a policeman in Karachi’s DHA neighbourhood on August 13 during an alleged shoot-out between police and robbers.
The accused, Khalid, has been charged in two related cases for committing offences pertaining to armed robbery, ‘encounter’, attempted murder, and terrorism.
Khalid was charged under Sections 397 (robbery or dacoity with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt), 34 (common intention), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 324 (attempted murder), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 (punishment for acts of terrorism) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.
The charges were read by the ATC-VIII judge, who is hearing the matter in the judicial complex inside the central prison. After being produced from the prison, Khalid pleaded not guilty and opted to contest the case.
The police had arrested Khalid on September 24 in some other cases concerning robbery and illicit weapons and claimed that during questioning the suspect had disclosed his involvement in the murder of the girl and also in robbing her parents and others, according to the prosecution.
Earlier, the case had taken an interesting turn as the prosecution pointed out defects in the investigation and loopholes in the charge sheet submitted by the investigating officer to the administrative judge of the anti-terrorism courts.
Investigating Officer (IO) Imdad Ali Khawaja had submitted a charge sheet and named Khalid as an accused, but made no mention of the police party which had taken part in the alleged shoot-out.
The charge sheet further stated that Khalid’s accomplice, Shahzad, had already been killed.
The court has summoned the investigating officer and prosecution witnesses on November 12 to record their testimonies.