KARACHI - An antiterrorism court on Monday reserved judgment on a bail plea filed by a suspect Rehman Swati in murder of renowned social activist Parween Rahman.
ATC conducted hearing in the judicial complex inside the central prison, has heard final arguments from both sides on the suspect’s plea sought bail. The court reserved its judgment that would be announced in the next hearing to be held on September 18.
During hearing of the main case, the court expressed its annoyance over the police authority for their failure to produce the witness and provide them security.
The court directed the SSP West to provide security to the prosecution witnesses and make sure to produce them in the court in the next hearing.
The complainant’s counsel Advocate Salahuddin Panhwar submitted that Supreme Court had directed to provide security to the family of Parween Rehman, but the authorities failed to comply with the court’s direction, he said that the witnesses frighten to appear in the court as they have received life threats from the suspects.
While talking to the media following the court’s proceeding, advocate Panwar has claimed that even he has received several life threats from the suspects forcing him to withdraw from the case, he said that he had informed the police officials to make some security measures but no initiative has been taken so far.
“I have informed the court that witnesses are afraid to appear in the court due to security concerns,” said Panwar, he added that due to the negligence to the police authority none of the witnesses appeared before the court to testify.
Parween Rahman, head of the Orangi Pilot Project, who devoted her life to the development of impoverished neighbourhoods, was gunned down near her office in Orangi Town on March 13, 2013.
Five accused including Ayaz Shamzai alias Swati, Amjad Hussain Khan, Ahmed Khan alias Ahmed Ali alias Pappu Kashmiri, Mohammad Imran Swati and Raheem Swati have been charged with her murder.
The investigation officer had listed 29 witnesses in the final charge sheet, but only nine of them had been examined by the court.
Last week, the court had issued notices to the remaining 20 witnesses, including nine private persons, to appear and record their statements. It had also directed the West SSP to ensure their presence and provision of adequate security.
A case was registered under Sections 302 (premeditated murder) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code at the Pirabad police station.
Later, Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 was incorporated in the case on a directive of the Supreme Court that had also ordered a judicial inquiry into the case by the then district and sessions judge (West) Ghulam Mustafa Memon.