Thursday, 25 September 2014
Gilgit- Anti Terrorism Court sentences 12 people, including Baba Jan, to life imprisonment
Gilgit- Anti Terrorism Court sentences 12 people, including Baba Jan, to life imprisonment reporting, by Abdul Rehman Bukhari
Gilgit, September 25: An Anti-Terrorism Court in Gilgit today sentenced twelve people, including Progressive Youth Front leader Baba Jan, to life in prison. They will spend 40 additional years in prison, besides paying 500,000 rupees in fines, according to the verdict announced this morning. Moreover, the convicts’ properties and earnings will be used to reconstruct buildings damaged and assets put on fire on 11 August 2011 in Aliabad, Hunza.
According to details, Judge Shahbaz Khan of the Anti-Terrorism Court Gilgit today announced the verdict of a case registered against 17 people on charges of attacking and torching government buildings in Aliabad on 11th August 2011. Enraged mobs had attacked and vandalized government buildings in Aliabad on 11August after police killed two unarmed Internally Displaced People (IDPs), father and son, belonging to the disaster hit Attabad village of Gojal Valley, upper Hunza.
The firing incident occurred when a group of IDPs, unable to get cash promised by the government, had blocked the road and were protesting on the Karakuram Highway that day. The Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan, Syed Mehdi Shah, was scheduled to visit the region on and the police were forcing the protesters to clear the road for his motorcade.
Hot words were exchanged between the police and the protesters, leading to a small brawl and stone-pelting. This was followed by straight firing by the police (videos and photographs of which are available with different media outlets), leading to the death of two people. Three people also sustained injuries.
The shooting was followed by riots and thrashing of police officials. Building and vehicles were stormed and put on fire by the angry mobs. Several dozens of people were rounded up later by law enforcers and cases were registered against them on the chrages of terrorism, damaging public properties and other counts.
Fourteen of the 17 accused appeared in the Court today, while three have been declared absconders. They will also get the punishment given to the 9 others present in the court today, the verdict said.
According to the verdict, the 12 people, including three absconders, will spend their lives in prison. They will spend additional 40 years in prison and pay 500,000 each in fines.
The 12 people sentenced for life today are: Iftikhar Hussain son of Muhammad Ishaq, Irfan Ali s/o Arman Shah, Baba Jan s/o Abdullah Baig, Aleemullah Khan s/o Taighoon Shah, Sher Khan s/o Hamadullah Baig, Rashied Minhas Anees s/o Abdul Mateen, Sarfaraz s/o Ghulam Musa, Musa Baig s/o Abdul Rehman and Shukrullah Baig s/o Amanullah.
The absconders, who have also been sentenced for life, include Meher Ali s/o Farman Ali, Deedar Ali s/o Ameer Ali and Nasir s/o Ghulam Rasool.
It is pertinent to note that so far no action has been taken against the police officials who shot the two IDPs dead. DSP Babar, the officer in-charge at the spot, was promoted to the rank of SP and retired a couple of years ago.