KARACHI: The Darakhshan police on Thursday registered another case against Atif Zaman, the suspect who had gunned down TV anchorperson Mureed Abbas, 34, and Khizar Hayat, 45, over a monetary dispute in Defence Housing Authority on Tuesday evening before attempting suicide.
Darakhshan SHO Shah Jehan Lashari said on Thursday that it transpired during the investigation that the .30-bore pistol used in the crime was without licence. Therefore, the police have registered a case against the suspect under Section 23-A of the Sindh Arms Act (acquires, possesses, carries or controls any firearm or ammunition in infringement of Section 3, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 14 years and with fine).
The officer said that the case was registered on behalf of the state through a police officer.
Wounded suspect’s statement recorded in hospital
The police had already registered two cases pertaining to the double murder on a complaint of Mureed Abbas’s wife and another related to attempted suicide.
Mr Lashari said the condition of the suspect, admitted to a private hospital in Clifton, was out of danger now.
The police have formed a special team to probe the double murder and believed that the alleged killer was under huge debts payable to the victims, which led to the crime.
The victims and the suspect were “friends and business partners and animosity sprung out of financial disputes”.
DIG-South Sharjeel Kharal told Dawn that the investigators had found a key link behind Tuesday’s dual murder. The senior officer revealed that Atif Zaman had been running a “racket” on the pattern of Punjab’s notorious Double Shah case, maintaining a chain of investors and paying them hefty returns, but planned to kill the key partners for demanding their money back.
“It was a Double Shah-type racket, which led to the incident,” said the top official.
Mr Kharal revealed that over 50 persons had given around Rs100-150 million to the suspect, Atif Zaman, who were demanding their returns/share now.
This alleged scam started in 2015.
The senior officer said that the suspect had gained consciousness at the hospital and the investigators had recorded his statement.
The alleged killer told the investigators that he had planned to kill four key partners who were demanding their returns/share. He had invited them on Tuesday evening but two of them did not appear. He stated that he had planned to kill his partners around five to six days back.
Regarding attempted suicide when the police party reached his apartment in Defence where Atif Zaman, an importer of tyres, allegedly shot and wounded himself, the DIG-South said he believed that he attempted suicide due to “police pressure and to avoid arrest”.
Mr Kharal said that the police would finally arrest the suspect in the double murder case, when he would be discharged from hospital.
South SSP Sheeraz Nazeer, who is a member of the special team probing the incident, told Dawn on Thursday that the suspect had no business and basically he was running a scam worth over Rs500 m.
He had made some investment in properties from the money, which he had taken from different individuals, including media persons, and had purchased luxury vehicles. But he had no financial background. He was a driver who also worked at a tyre shop in the city. The suspect told the investigators that he first committed a fraud of Rs500,000 in 2014.
IO given time to produce suspect in court
A local court on Thursday allowed time to the investigating officer to produce injured suspect Atif Zaman before the court on July 15.
On Thursday, the IO filed an initial progress report before the judicial magistrate concerned.
The IO said that according to the doctors the suspect was not in a condition to be shifted to court. Therefore, he requested for time to produce the suspect and also submit an investigation report in the case.
Allowing the request, the judge granted time to the IO with the direction to produce the suspect before the court by July 15.