Hanging: ATC issues black warrants for two LJ militants

— Reuters/File

KARACHI: Tuesday has been fixed for the execution of two terrorists belonging to the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi who had been sentenced to death 10 years ago in a sectarian killing case.

An antiterrorism court on Friday issued black warrants for Attaullah alias Qasim and Mohammad Azam alias Sharif who had been given death sentence by an antiterrorism court in July 2004 for killing Dr Ali Raza Peerani on sectarian grounds in June 2001 in the Soldier Bazaar area.

The court directed the jail authorities at the Sukkur central prison to carry out the hanging of Attaullah and Azam on Dec 23 at 6:30am till death.

The Sukkur jail superintendent earlier informed the ATC-V through a letter that the last stay order issued by the president in this case was withdrawn as the government lifted a moratorium on executions.

He asked the court to issue fresh black warrants for the condemned prisoners. The father of one of the condemned prisoners, Hashim Khan, then moved an application through his lawyer, asking the ATC to defer the issuance of black warrants.

He said he also filed a petition in the case in the apex court that passed an order about fixing it for hearing after removal of some objections. His lawyer said they would approach the apex court on Saturday to stay the hanging.

Judge Mohammad Javed Alam of the ATC-V then issued the black warrants for the condemned prisoners, directing the authorities to carry out the execution under the supervision of the area magistrate after fulfilling legal formalities.

The court had issued black warrants several times in the past for the two convicts but their hanging had been repeatedly deferred on stay orders issued from the presidency.

Dr Peerani, belonging to Shia sect, was killed by armed motorcyclists in a targeted attack on sectarian grounds when he came out of his clinic in Soldier Bazaar and was about to leave in his car. The wounded doctor was rushed to a hospital where doctors pronounced him dead on arrival.

Since 2008, only one execution has been carried out after a military court sentenced to death a solider for killing a colleague.

Courtroom killing

The jail authorities in Karachi requested another antiterrorism court (ATC-III) to issue fresh black warrants for two condemned prisoners, Behram Khan and Shafqat Hussain, in separate cases.

The court had issued black warrants for both the convicts but their hanging was deferred by the presidency.

Behram was sentenced to death for the murder, while Pir Bux was awarded life imprisonment for abetting the killing.

Behram was sentenced to death in 2003 for killing a lawyer inside a courtroom of the Sindh High Court, while Shafqat was found guilty of kidnapping and killing a seven-year-old boy in the New Town area in 2004.

Behram along with sub-inspector Pir Bux entered the courtroom of Justice Zawar Hussain Jaffery of the SHC and killed a lawyer Ashraf in what later emerged as a case of mistaken identity. Behram had earlier made queries about Advocate Qurban Ali Chauhan, the attorney for the accused being tried for the killing of his maternal uncle, as he wanted to kill him but actually killed Advocate Ashraf.

The appeal of the convict was dismissed by the high court and his mercy petition was also rejected. The other condemned prisoner whose fresh death warrants were sought by the jail authorities in Karachi was the watchman at a residential complex, Shafqat, who had been found guilty of killing a seven-year-old boy in 2004.

Shafqat, the watchman at Nadeem Arcade, had kidnapped Umair and took him to his room where he hit him in his head with a club when he insisted to leave the room. This resulted in instant death of the young boy. The watchman dumped the body the following night in a nearby drain and called victim’s family from different public call offices asking them to deliver ransom though he himself never turned up, it added. Finally, he asked the victim’s father to place the money under a wooden box lying inside the compound of Nadeem Arcade, which led to his arrest as the police investigators found that the box belonged to the watchman.

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