Gilgit - Baltistan

GB Chief Court acquits 7 people held in connection with sectarian murders

Asim Iqbal

Gilgit, December 21: The Chief Court of Gilgit-Baltistan has acquitted seven men, convicted by an Anti-Terrorism Court, in a case of murder of ten people including DFO Taighoon Nabi.

A Division Bench of the Chief Court, comprising Justice Raja Jalal and Justice Sahib Khan, accepted  the appeal of Nazir Ahmed, Amjad, Eqtedar, Ashfaq, Etrat Hussain, Waseem and Hashim against the decision of anti-terrorism court,  setting aside their capital punishment.

All the seven men were arrested for their allegedly involvement in the murder of Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Taighoon Nabi and other nine people who took refuge in his house during the January 8, 2005 sectarian riots that erupted in Gilgit city after an attack on Syed Agha Zia Uddin, a renowned Shia cleric. He passed away in Rawalpindi on January 13, not recovering from fatal injuries.

Around 14 people, including a director of the government health department and five members of Taighun Nabi’s family, were murdered on that day in targeted killings.

The accused had been awarded capital punishment by the anti terrorism court but on their review appeal, the chief court has set them free, and declared the decision of ATC null and void.

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