RAWALPINDI - Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Rawalpindi Number 2 on Tuesday cleared three men from charges of planning two suicide attacks in Islamabad and helping the suicide bombers and ordered their release if they are not involved in any other case.

ATC No 2 Special Judge Rana Masood Akhter acquitted Noor Jahan, Rehmat Gull and Jamshed Khan, all the three men were said to be linked with banned outfit Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), from the accusations of planning two suicide hits because of lack of evidence. The terror attacks were launched in the office of World Food Programme (WFP) of UN and at the entry gate of Pakistan Naval Headquarters in Islamabad in 2009.

According to information, police nabbed one Jamshed Khan from Islamabad and seized hand grenades and other explosive material from his possession in November 2009. During the course of investigation, the police said Jamshed confessed to have helped the suicide bomber who blew himself up at UN WFP Office in F-8/3 on October 5, 2009.

The law enforcers, later on March 22, 2010, on the information provided by Jamshed managed to handcuff Rehmat Gull and Noor Jahan and recovered lethal weapons from their possession. According to the prosecution details, the arrested men also confessed to have dropped the suicide bomber at the entry gate of Pakistan Navy Headquarters in Sector E-8 on December 2, 2009, who exploded himself and killed seven men.

The prosecution added that the complainant, who was a Naval officer, had recognised the two men during the identification parade, saying they along with the bomber were seen near the gate before the explosion. The three men took shelter in a guesthouse in Rawalpindi before launching attack on UN Office.

Bisharat Ullah Khan, defence lawyer, while talking to TheNation, said that police detained his client Jamshed Khan before the blast at WFP Office.

He said that police tortured his client and forced him to confess the crime besides naming the two other men who were later arrested and further confessed their involvement in attack at Pakistan Naval Headquarters. “The acquitted men informed the court that police tortured them to confess the crime they did not commit” Bisharat added. He said that he argued before ATC No 2 judge that police could not get the names of the two suicide bombers whereas the employees of guest house could also not recognized the accused during parade. According to him, all the eye-witnesses of prosecution, who maimed during attack at Naval Headquarters main gate, and the complainant in their statements they had recorded before the court they said had seen one man crossing the road and coming towards them from the bus stop and exploding himself. But later, the complainant changed his statement saying “He saw three men standing on bus stop and one of them blew himself up near the gate”. The defense lawyer said that the prosecution failed to provide substantial evidences before the court except the statements police got from his clients forcefully. And these were not enough to get the accused convicted in the terrorism case and court acquitted his clients, said Bisharat Ullah Khan Advocate.