LAHORE–An anti-terrorism court (ATC) today sent Mustafa Kanju, alleged killer of a Lahore youth Zain, and four of his accomplices on a 14-day-long judicial remand.
The judicial remand would allow the police to collect evidence pertaining to the investigation in order to frame charges against Kanju. These will then be presented in the ATC.
In a hearing at the ATC on April 3, Kanju had argued that the fact that he had fired shots did not mean they led to Zain’s death. He had claimed innocence, saying the police and the victim’s relatives were conspiring to trap him in the case.
Also, Kanju’s lawyer had stated that Zain, a 16-year-old orphan, had fallen victim to cross-firing between his client and his ‘opponents’ – whom he did not identify – and that Kanju had no personal enmity with Zain.
After being sent on an eight-day physical remand by the ATC, Kanju on April 5 confessed to firing the shots that resulted in Zain’s death. He asserted that he was not intoxicated at the time, and that he resorted to aerial firing upon becoming enraged after an accident. He said Zain was not the target of the fire, nor did he intend to kill Zain or anyone else.
Forensic reports revealed that Kanju’s fingerprints were on a Kalashnikov firearm that was recovered from the scene.
On April 2, Mustafa Kanju was arrested and a case was registered against him under 7-ATA and Section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code.
The arrest came a day after Kanju opened indiscriminate fire when his luxury car accidentally hit the vehicle of a woman in Lahore’s Cavalry Ground. Bullets hit Zain, a motorcyclist, and Husnain, 18, who had come out of the house after hearing the noise. Zain, a class-IX student, died on the spot and Husnain was critically injured.
Sources claimed six security guards who worked for Kanju were arrested on the night of April 1 from his residence in Old Cavalry Ground. Police had also recovered empty shells of a gun from the crime scene and had later seized the gun used in the incident.
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif took notice of the incident, ordered the arrest of the suspect and announced Rs0.5m for the family of the deceased. He also assured them of the provision of justice.
There were confusing statements regarding the incident by police, which also contradicted eyewitness accounts.
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— The Daily Mail - People's Daily