Target killing: Two perpetrators awarded death penalty

GILGIT: An Anti-Terrorist Court on Thursday handed down death penalty to two men accused of killing a government official last year when target killings had escalated in the town. The court acquitted another man, Ikram Ullah, still at large, for lack of evidence against him.

The judgement was given by the administrative judge Raja Shahbaz Khan, court sources said. Qari Ikramullah and Arif-ud-din have been awarded the death penalty for killing Mohammad Akbar, a government employee, in Gilgit in 2010, the official said. He said that Qari Ikramullah is currently on the run and the decision has been taken in his absence.

The official said that another man, Mahfoozullah, was awarded life imprisonment in the same case. He was accused in one of the incidents of target killings on sectarian lines in Gilgit last year. More than 11 people had fallen victim to the killings, forcing the Chief Minister Mehdi Shah to transfer over 50 policemen from Gilgit to other districts in punishment.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2011.

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