KARACHI: An antiterrorism court has sentenced two men to death on two counts for kidnapping and murdering the owner of a beauty saloon.
The two men Abbas Bangash and Mehboob Akhtar Mian were found guilty of kidnapping a 55-year-old woman, Aziz Akhtar, for ransom and later killing her in Gulshan-i-Hadeed in October 2020.
On Saturday, the ATC-XVI judge, who conducted the trial in the judicial complex inside the central prison, pronounced his verdict reserved after recording evidence and final arguments.
The judge noted that the prosecution had proved the charges against the accused. Therefore, he handed down death sentence to them on two counts i.e.
kidnapping for ransom and premeditated murder.
The court also sentenced both the men to nine-year imprisonment each for attempting to conceal evidence by dumping the victim`s body in a well and committing forgery.However, the judge acquitted the duo of the charge of causing terrorism, noting that since no evidence regarding `ingredients of terrorism as defined in Section06(a)(b)and (c)had beenuttered much less produced; as the accused were not alleged to have any affiliation with any type of criminal and/or proscribed gangs` as defined by the Supreme Court in the Ghulam Hussain case.
According to the prosecution, complainant Karim Bux reported that his wife, Ms Akhtar, had left home for her beauty salon on Oct 3, 2020 but did not return.
Later, police interrogated an already arrested accused, Muhammad Abbas Bangash, who disclosed to have kidnapped her and killed her over non-payment of ransom.
It added that the accused also led to the recovery of the victim`s decomposed body from a well in Nodo Jokhio.
The complainant had deposed that the accused Bangash contacted him over phone, impersonated to be an official of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and had demanded Rs400,000/500,000 for safe recovery of his wife.