Six Rangers men to be tried under anti-terror law
By Imran Ayub
KARACHI: Six personnel of Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, who had allegedly shot dead an unarmed youth on June 8, would be tried under the anti-terror law, as police investigators claimed to have incorporated a relevant section of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997 in the FIR of the murder case on Sunday.
Rangers’ authorities had given the custody of two of the six men in uniform to the police, who produced them in court for remand in the youth killing case. The police also sought the custody of four other personnel but the Rangers authorities ignored the police demand for about three days on the pretext that the four soldiers were not nominated in the FIR.
However, facing no other option, the Rangers authorities handed over the four personnel to the police in the small hours of Sunday. “All the four men have been handed over to the city police,” said a Rangers spokesman.
DIG Sultan Khawaja, appointed by the Supreme Court to head the investigation team, told reporters on Sunday that the process had been initiated to incorporate Section 7 of the ATA, 1997 in the FIR (227/2011) lodged against the Rangers men at the Boat Basin police station. The FIR was lodged under Section 302 (premeditated murder) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
After the inclusion of Section 7 of the ATA, 1997, the case against the Rangers personnel would be tried by an anti-terrorism court.
In his brief media talk outside the Boat Basin police station, where he had also recorded the statements of witnesses to the incident, DIG Khawaja said that the police had seized the rifle, the crime weapon, and the Rangers mobile van that was in the use of the six personnel at the time of the incident.
“We are confident that we will complete our job within seven days and submit a charge-sheet in court,” he said, adding that statements of four witnesses were recorded on Sunday.
Family members of victim Sarfraz Shah along with a large number of residents of Hijrat Colony were present outside the Boat Basin police station, where investigators were busy in recording statements of witnesses.
On Saturday DIG Khawaja appealed to people having any evidence related to the June 8 episode to contact the investigators.
Anti-Rangers protest continues
Score of residents of Lyari staged another sit-in outside the temporary headquarters of Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, on Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road for the fourth consecutive day on Sunday in protest against the killing of the unarmed youth by paramilitary soldiers.
A large number of protesters marched on I.I. Chundrigar Road, from where they headed to the Rangers headquarters.
The protesters have been demanding investigations into the killing of two Lyari residents – Shariful Haq and Baba Ismail – who were, according to them, killed by the Rangers in a staged encounter during a search operation last month.
Although no major traffic jam occurred on Sunday, the weekly holiday, the continued protest had become a source of disturbance for commuters because the police closed both ends of Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road for vehicular traffic by placing barricades.
The vehicles approaching from Merewether Tower and the Light House area towards Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road were diverted to M. R Kayani Road from Shaheen Complex while Aiwan-i-Saddar Road was also closed for vehicular traffic.