rawalpindi - An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Wednesday sent seven men including the Top City owner, who are facing charges of having links with MQM London and keeping explosives, to Adiala Jail on judicial remand till June 21.

ATC No 2 Special Judge Asif Majeed Awan while rejecting the plea of Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Rawalpindi for extension in the physical remand of the accused has sent seven men including Top City owner Kunwar Moeez to Adiala Jail and ordered CTD to probe the accused in jail, if needed.

The other six accused were identified as Essa Khan, Khawaja Ashar, Ghulam Yasin, Aslam Khan and Fayyaz Khan.

Earlier, Station House Officer CTD Police Station Khan Muhammad presented the accused before ATC amid tight security and told the judge that the department arrested them during a raid on a house in Askari-12 and later on in federal capital and an office of Top City, a private housing society, besides recovering hand grenades, weapons and explosives from their possession. A case on terrorism charges has also been lodged against the accused. He pleaded the judge to grant a 10-day remand of the accused.

However, Faisal Qausain Mufti and Naqash Ashraf, the lawyers for Moeez, opposed the CTD plea arguing that the investigation agency has failed in obtaining any substantial evidence against their client despite grilling them for more than 26 days. He said that CTD was not assisting Rangers during a raid on house and housing society of his client. He said CTD showed licensed weapons of Essa in possession of his client, Moeez, which exposed the mala fide and lie of the raiding Rangers. The lawyer told the court Moeez was roped in the case in a bid to grab his multi-billion housing society located near New International Islamabad Airport. Similarly, GM Shah and Ishtiaq Ahmed Mirza, representing Essa, said that their client was innocent and had nothing to do with the case. They said that Essa is a businessman who is also providing security gadgets to Pakistan Army besides participating in shooting contests held by the army. The lawyers said that their clients were held on May 12 but a case was registered against them on May 17. They said Essa has been residing in a military-owned housing society near 10 Corps where carrying weapons and explosive was impossible. Rangers and CTD lodged a bogus case against their client, they argued.

Moreover, an employee of Top City on orders of ATC judge also presented two videos before the court showing how the Rangers stormed into Top City on May 12 and smashed the CCTV cameras apparently to hide their illegal action against a private housing society. He told the court that luckily two CCTV cameras remained hidden from the eyes of the Rangers that recorded their activities.

After the conclusion of the comments of defence lawyers, ATC No 2 sent the seven accused to Adiala Jail on a 14-day judicial remand

On the other hand, Station House Officer CTD Police Station Rawalpindi while talking exclusively to The Nation said the investigators so far could not find any clue about Moeez having links with MQM London. He said that the weapons recovered by Rangers and CTD did not belong to NATO Forces rather some of them have licences that have been presented by Essa to CTD for verification. He said the verification process of licences was underway.

“Our brother is not a terrorist rather a businessman who also provides security equipment to Pakistan Army,” said Khurshid Khan and Abdul Qadir, brothers of Essa. Gultasib Mehmood said his cousin Muhammad Navid who was employed as a clerk in Top City was missing since May 12. He said nobody was aware of the whereabouts of Navid and two others including Moeez’s father-in-law.

He appealed to the Chief of Army Staff to order Rangers to release the detainees or produce them before the court of law if they are guilty.