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Sargodha killings: Accused on three-day police remand

Sargodha killings: Accused on three-day police remand

SARGODHA: Four accused in the Ali Muhammad Gujjar shrine massacre case were remanded in police custody on Monday for three days by the anti-terrorism court judge in Sargodha.

Police presented the accused -- Abdul Waheed (of Nankana Sahib and also the principal accused), Muhammad Asif Lodhi (of Phalia ), Zafar Ali Dogar (of Khanqa Dogran) and Kashif (of Chak 95-NB) -- before the judge in tight security.

Police are the complainant in the case where 20 people were allegedly hacked to death at the shrine in Chak 95-N, on Friday and Saturday.

Police were alerted about the massacre by a woman, who was among the four injured. Police said as soon as they arrived at the scene, the accused were beating Sain Jameel. When they tried to rescue Jameel, the four accused scuffled with police and tore their uniform.

The bodies were handed over to heirs after autopsy and their stomach swabs were dispatched to the forensic laboratory in Lahore.

The police also sought the formation of a joint investigation team for a thorough probe into the case.

A police officer, seeking anonymity, said no one from the deceased people’s families or the vicinity of the shrine was ready to become a complainant in the case. Police registered the first information report in the case on the complaint of a police officer.

He said that Waheed, the main accused, had kept on changing his statement. He, however, confessed to killing the devotees before the judge but insisted that devotees were beaten as part of a ritual to cleanse their sins.

This correspondent spoke to the area residents but they chose not to share any detail about Waheed.

In the lock-up, Waheed told Dawn he had no repentance on his act. He said that he had not committed any wrong with the deceased as he did all this only to purify their souls.

He said: “Police are not allowing me to visit the shrine; I’ve the power to make the dead devotees alive.”

Waheed also plans to plead his case on his own, saying that he did not need the help of any lawyer as “the powers who assigned this task will control each and everything”.

The other three accomplices also seemed mesmerised by the talk of Waheed. One of them said they hoped some miracle would happen.

A police official said some of their colleagues of the area used to visit the shrine of Ali Muhammad Gujar and were the followers of Waheed.

Published in Dawn, April 4th, 2017

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