GUJRANWALA – An anti-terrorism court Tuesday announced its verdict on Sialkot lynching case and awarded four times capital punishment to seven accused and life imprisonment to six others besides three years imprisonment to each cop including former Sialkot DPO Waqar Ahmad Chohan.
The court comprising of presiding officer, Ch Mushtaq Ahmad Gondal, announced its verdict an hour before the midnight in Central Jail Gujranwala where proceedings continued till afternoon and it took him (judge) hours to dictate the decision before announcing it in the packed courtroom. All accused including the police officers were sent to jail before the verdict.
The two brothers, Hafiz Mughees and Muneeb, were brutally lynched to death on August 15, 2010. Saddar Sialkot Police had lodged an FIR on August 20 after the Supreme Court took suo moto and directed the anti-terrorism court, Gujranwala Division, to decide the case within three months. The case was lodged against Jamil alias Jeela, Qaisar Ali, Hassan Raza, Jamshaid alias Sheeda, Muhammad Akram, Muhammad Asghar, Muhammad Iqbal, Sarfraz Ahmad, Muhammad Amin, Asghar Ali, Shamus Ali, Ali Raza alias Peter, Ateeb alias Nosha, Awais and Shafique Fauji besides the then Sialkot DPO Waqar Ahmad Chohan, SHO Rana Muhammad Ilyas, ASI Muhammad Waris, Constables Nazir Hussain, Bashir Ahmad, Tariq Mahmood, Muhammad Akram, Mubarak Ali, Naseer Ahmad and Muhammad Yasin alias Yamin.
The apex courts had nominated Justice (r) Kazim Ali Malik as the judicial inquiry officer who had cleared both the slain brothers of any robbery or killing charges while the joint investigation team had exonerated five accused – Qaisar Ali, Muhammad Akram, Muhammad Asghar, Shamus Ali and Awais. The team had submitted the challan on October 9, 2010, in the ATC which took more than a year to announce its verdict. During the hearing, the court recorded 42 witnesses of prosecution and used video footages and pictures to reach the final decision.