An anti-terrorism court in Karachi on Monday sentenced a Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) worker to imprisonment for life after finding him guilty of involvement in the target killing of three clerics in Karachi in 2013. The court, however, acquitted three other accused MQM workers due to ‘lack of evidence’.
Four accused said to be associated with the MQM – Syed Haider Ali alias Police Wala, Asghar alias Kaka Banda, Wajahat alias Chikna and Syed Ali Hassan Zaidi – were detained after being charged with the murder of Mufti Abdul Majeed Deenpuri, Mufti Muhammad Saleh and Moulana Hassan Ali Shah in a targeted attack in broad daylight near the Nursery flyover on Sharae Faisal on January 31, 2013.
On Monday, the ATC-XX judge, who conducted the trial in the judicial complex inside the central prison, pronounced his verdict, which was reserved earlier after recording the evidence and hearing final arguments from both sides. The judge acquitted three men — Syed Haider Ali, Asghar and Wajahat — of the charges of premeditated murder due to the lack of evidence and ordered them to be released forthwith if their custody was not required in any other case.
However, the judge found the fourth accused Syed Ali Hassan Zaidi guilty of premeditated murder and terrorism, sentencing him to life imprisonment.
According to the prosecution, the armed men had sprayed bullets on the vehicle of the clerics, who succumbed to their wounds.
A case under Sections 302 (premeditated murder), 109 (abatement) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with the Section 7 (punishment for acts of terrorism) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 was registered at the Tipu Sultan police station.
In 2013, two teachers and a student of Jamia Banori Uloom Islamia were gunned down in an attack on their hi-roof van on a stretch of Sharae Faisal between the Nursery bus stop and the Finance and Trade Centre (FTC) in front of the Sindhi Muslim Housing Society’s Block-B.
The closing moments of the shooting were caught by a CCTV camera installed at a wedding lawn in front of which the shooting took place. The footage showed that three assailants escaped on a motorcycle after attacking the van which was on the left track of the road.