Witnesses receiving death threats from Lyari gangsters

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Witnesses and the prosecution were receiving death threats from Lyari gangsters, a prosecutor pursuing cases against Uzair Baloch told the court on Friday.

Baloch has been facing several cases pertaining to murders, terrorism and kidnappings in Karachi courts. He has been accused of 198 murders during the Lyari gang war.

The infamous gangster has been acquitted in 14 cases so far on the basis of a lack of evidence. Most of the cases involve crimes committed from 2012 to 2013.

During a hearing on Friday, the prosecutor told the sessions court that Shahab Haider, a key witness in a case against Baloch, was murdered in Karachi last year.

Witnesses were not appearing before the court to testify because they feared for their lives, he said, requesting protection for witnesses and prosecution staffers. Baloch was arrested by the Rangers on January 30, 2016.

In a statement, he now denies, the gangster had confessed to criminal activities such as murders, extortion, encroaching lands, illegally occupying 14 sugar mills, harassing residents, and illegally purchasing arms.

In April 2017, he was handed over to the Pakistan Army after being accused of espionage and leaking information to foreign intelligence agencies. The army handed him over to the police after three years on April 6, 2020.

Baloch has been accused of murdering a total of 198 people. He denies the charges. In August 2020, a Karachi Anti-Terrorism Court indicted him in the murder of gangster Arshad Pappu.

 

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