One jailed for life, seven acquitted in doctor`s kidnapping case
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By Ishaq Tanoli | 2/28/2018 12:00:00 AM
KARACHI: An antiterrorism court on Tuesday sentenced a man to life imprisonment for kidnapping a neurosurgeon who was later killed in an exchange of gunfire between police and his abductors.

The court found Ashok Kumar, said to be a quack, guilty of kidnapping neurosurgeon Dr Aftab Qureshi for ransom near Taj Complex in May 2012.

The surgeon was killed in an exchange of gunfire after police raided the captors` house in Hyderabad to recover him.

The court also exonerated seven coaccused Farooq Ahmed, Azhar Ali, Imdad Ali, Hath Khan, Abdul Aziz, Irfan and Ghulam Ali alias Ghulam Nabi for lack of evidence in the 1(idnapping case.

Azhar and Imdad were among the clinicalstaffofthe slain doctor.

However, the court acquitted all the eight accused in the murder case, observing that the death of Dr Qureshi was caused by a weapon issued to a police constable and no attention was paid to this aspect during the investigation of the case.

The ATC-IH judge, who jointly conducted the trial after amalgamating both the cases, pronounced the verdict after recording evidence of witnesses and concluding arguments from both sides.

The judgement said that the presence of Kumar at the house where the doctor was detained showed his involvement in the planning of abduction in which he played an active role.

Therefore, the court ruled that the offence of kidnapping stood proved against Kumar beyond a shadow of a doubt. The court ordered confiscation of his property.

Thejudge observedthathe took alenient view and did not hand down capital punishment since evidence suggested that he changed his mind and became an informer during the captivity of Dr Qureshi.

While exonerating all of them from the murder charge, the verdict said that the neurosurgeon was killed by a weapon issuedto Constable Asif Nisar of the Anti-Violent Crime Cell.

However, it added, during the investigation police did not pay due attention to this aspect.

According to the prosecution, Dr Qureshi along with his two clinical staff was abducted on May 12, 2012 after they came out of the clinic at Taj Complex. The abductors left out both staffers near Mazar-iQuaid and took away the doctor and later contacted his family and demanded a ransom of Rs100 million for his safe release, it added.

During the investigation, the investigating officer came to know that the kidnapped doctor was kept at a house in Hyderabad.

Therefore, the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee and AVCC jointly raided the house in Hyderabad on May 30, 2012 for the captive`s recovery, but he was killed in an exchange of fire between police and kidnappers. ASI Rashid Khan and captor Akhtar Siyal were also killed in the incident while Kumar was arrested, it added.

The first case was registered under Section 365-A (kidnapping for ransom) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 on the complaint of the deceased`s son at the Brigade police station.

Later, Sections 302 (premeditated murder) of the PPC was also incorporated in the FIR.

The second FIR was lodged under Sections 353 (criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 324 (attempted murder) and 302 of the PPC read with Section 7 of the ATA at the Bhitai Nagar police station in Hyderabad.

Two get life in lawyer`s murder case A sessions court sentenced two men to life imprisonment in a case pertaining to killing of a lawyer.

The court held Mansoor and Ali Haider, said to be political workers, accountable for killing Advocate Sardar Zulfiqar in 2012 in a Garden locality.

Additional District and Sessions Judge (South) Shazia Asif imposed a fine of Rs100,000 each and in case of default the convicts would have to undergo an additional six months in prison.

According to the prosecution, the absconding accused Altaf alias Sultan had hired the accused persons and paid them Rs500,000 to kill the lawyer.