ATC issues notice to Rangers to file response to Uzair’s application

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An anti-terrorism court (ATC) has issued a notice to a prosecutor of the Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, to file their response to an application moved by Uzair Baloch, chief of the outlawed Peoples Aman Committee, seeking his transfer from the Mitharam Hostel to the Central Jail Karachi.

The alleged Lyari gangster is facing dozens of cases pertaining to murder, attempted murder, armed attacks on personnel of law-enforcement agencies, and running extortion and criminal rackets under the supposed patronage of the Pakistan People’s Party leadership and the Sindh police high-ups.

The judge of the ATC-XII, who is conducting the trial in the judicial complex inside the central prison, took up the plea and issued a notice to the Rangers’ prosecutor. The prosecutor has been asked to submit a reply as to why the applicant is being kept at the Mitharam Hostel, which was reportedly declared a sub-jail to detain him due to security concerns. The court then adjourned the hearing until October 10.

In the handwritten application filed through his lawyer Abid Zaman, Baloch said he has been behind bars for the past eight years, during which he filed a number of applications seeking the redressal of his grievances from various courts but their orders fell on deaf ears.

He said he has been interned in the sub-jail, which is manned by the paramilitary force, without a legal or any other justification. He claimed he is being subjected to mental suffering on a daily basis and being provided meals that cause him physical pain and vomiting for hours.

The applicant claimed he is also not being allowed to meet his children once a week in accordance with the court’s order. He said he is feeling unsafe in the sub-jail, and pleaded that the court orders his transfer to the central prison.

Baloch has been acquitted in over 20 criminal cases for lack of evidence. He had been nominated in around 60 cases registered at different police stations. The cases were registered under sections 302 (premeditated murder), 324 (attempted murder), 395 (dacoity), 364 (kidnapping to murder), 435 (mischief by fire or explosive substance to cause damage) and other sections of the Pakistan Penal Code, read with Section 7 (punishment for terrorism) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

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