MQM worker sentenced to death by ATC for Waqas Shah murderPakistan
KARACHI: A worker of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement Syed Asif Ali has been sentenced to death by Anti-terrorism Court - IX (ATC) for the murder of party activist Waqas Shah.
Asif was also slammed with a Rs 500,000 fine as a compensation to the legal heirs of the deceased by the ATC judge Farman Ali Kanasro, along with a seven-year prison sentence and Rs 50,000 fine for the possession of illegal weapon.
The execution of the capital punishment will be carried out after the approval of the Sindh High Court.
The conviction is mainly based on the testimonies of two eyewitnesses, both Rangers officials, who had identified the accused before a magistrate during an identification parade and also deposed against him before the trial court.
The court reserved on July 1 its judgement in the case pertaining to the murder of Shah till Aug 1.
Asif was charged with killing Waqas Shah during a pre-dawn raid carried out by Rangers at the party’s headquarters Nine Zero in March last year.
A heavy contingent of the paramilitary forces raided MQM headquarters, in Karachi's Azizabad neighbourhood on March 11 2015, prompting a protest by party activists and a subsequent call for a day of "peaceful mourning" across the country.
According to a Rangers' statement Ali then shot Waqas, an MQM office bearer, who stood behind him, when he saw an opportune moment.
Ali and his associates then gathered media personnel near Shah's body and started the propaganda that he was shot dead by Rangers, the statement added.
After hearing concluding arguments from both sides, Judge Kanasro reserved the judgement for pronouncement till Aug 1.
The paramilitary force claimed to have arrested the suspect in Shahdadpur in June last year and said that he was also a political worker and confessed to have killed the young activist.
Later, he was handed over to police and they also claimed that the crime weapon was found on a lead given by the accused.
A case was registered under Sections 302 (premeditated murder) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code at the Azizabad police station.
Later, Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 was also incorporated in the case while the accused was also booked under the Sindh Arms Act, 2013.