An anti-terrorism court in Karachi on Monday handed down death sentence to two police officials, who were serving as the guard and driver of the former chief of the police’s Anti-Car Lifting Cell, for killing teenager Intizar Ahmed in a “planned encounter” in the city’s Defence Housing Authority neighbourhood in 2018.
The ATC judge found police constables Bilal Rasheed and Mohammad Daniyal, who were then posted as the gunman and driver of ex-ACLC chief (now DIG) Muqaddas Haider, guilty of shooting 19-year-old Intizar to death.
The court also awarded life imprisonment to six other ACLC officials, including then-station house officer Tariq Mehmood,
former inspectors Tariq Raheem and Azhar Ahsan, then-head constable Shahid Usman and ex-constables Ghulam Abbas and Fawad Khan.
A seventh accused, Ghulam Abbas — another former head constable, was acquitted for want of evidence. Intizar, who was studying in Malaysia, had returned to Pakistan for his holidays.
He was travelling in his car with a friend, Madiha Kayani, on January 13, 2018, when policemen in plain clothes chased his car and shot him dead in DHA after he failed to stop the vehicle upon the cops’ direction.
Kayani had managed to escape the scene unscathed in a rickshaw. “I am satisfied that the murderers of my son have been awarded the death sentence.
It has been proved that both the accused shot dead my son,” Ishtiaq Ahmed, the victim’s father, told Dawn.com after hearing the order pronounced by the ATC-VII judge, who conducted the trial at the judicial complex inside the central prison.
“But justice will be fully served when the sentences awarded to the accused are executed,” Ahmed added.
A couple of months after Intizar’s killing, Kayani in a video statement, which went viral on social media, had appealed to the Rangers and other law enforcement agencies to provide her security.
In July this year, the court had reserved its verdict after recording evidence and final arguments from the defence and prosecution sides.
All the undertrial policemen were indicted on May 15, 2018, for the student’s murder. During the trial, the prosecution examined nearly 20 witnesses.
A ballistics expert had confirmed that official weapons of the ACLC personnel were used in the killing.
In their statements, recorded under Section 342 of the Criminal Procedure Code, all the accused had denied the allegations against them and claimed innocence.
Intizar’s killing was initially termed an act of targeted killing by police but after a few days, it transpired that ACLC officials were involved in it.
The investigation officer of the case had initially charge-sheeted nine officials.
The IO had later let off ex-head constable Ghulam Abbas, saying he was not present at the crime scene, but the court took cognisance of the matter and also initiated a trial against him.
A case was registered under Sections 302 (premeditated murder), 324 (attempt to murder) 109 (abetment) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 (punishment for acts of terrorism) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, at the Darakhshan police station on the complaint of the victim’s father.