KARACHI: An antiterrorism court on Tuesday indicted suspected Lyari gangster Uzair Jan Baloch in the kidnapping and murder case of a trader. He was produced before an ATC located in the judicial complex at the central prison amid tight security arrangements.
Uzair Baloch, who has recently been convicted by a military court of spying for foreign intelligence agencies, along with his accomplices has been charged with abducting trader Abdul Samad for ransom in July 2009 in the Chakiwara area of Lyari and later killing him.
The ATC judge read out the charges against the alleged gangster and head of the banned Peoples Amn Committee. However, he pleaded not guilty and opted to contest the charges. The court summoned the prosecution witnesses with the direction to record their testimonies on July 27.
The prosecution said that the accused with his brother Zubair Baloch and others kidnapped the trader hailing for Turbat on July 16, 2009 and demanded Rs1 million ransom for his release. The captive’s family paid Rs70,000 to the kidnappers, but they killed him, it added.
A case was registered on a complaint of the victim’s father, Azeem Khan, at the Chakiwara police station under sections 302 (punishment for premeditated murder), 365-A (kidnapping for ransom) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.
The Rangers had announced the arrest of Uzair Baloch in a raid on the outskirts of Karachi in January 2016 and the paramilitary force had held him under 90-day preventive detention. Later, he was handed over to the police for investigation.
A joint investigation team had also grilled the alleged gangster and he had allegedly confessed to killing 198 people before the JIT. A judicial magistrate had also recorded his confessional statement under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code in April 2016.
The military authorities had taken custody of Uzair Baloch from the Karachi Central Prison in April 2017 to try him on the charges of espionage and leak of sensitive information to foreign intelligence agencies.
He was recently handed back to the jail authorities to face trial in around 60 cases pending before the ATCs and sessions courts of the city after being sentenced by a military court to 12 years rigorous imprisonment in April under Section 59 (civil offences) of the Pakistan Army Act read with Section 3 (penalties for spying) of the Official Secrets Act.
He is facing trial in the cases pertaining to the murder of paramilitary personnel, policemen, killing of rivals and others, kidnapping, extortion, etc, including the triple murder of his rival gangster Arshad Pappu and his brother Yasir Arafat and their confidant Juma Shera in Lyari after they were kidnapped in Defence Housing Authority with the help of some police officers in March 2013.
A case was registered on a complaint of the victim’s father, Azeem Khan, at the Chakiwara police station under sections 302, 365-A and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997. — Hussain Afzal/File