Perween Rahman case hearing adjourned till August 21 thumbnail

Perween Rahman case hearing adjourned till August 21

An anti-terrorism court in Karachi adjourned the Perween Rahman murder case till August 21 after the lawyers of the supects failed to appear in court on Monday.

The court was expected to announce its verdict in the case after the prosecution and defence have wrapped up their arguments. At the last hearing, the men arrested for her murder has pleaded not guilty.

Perween Rahman was the director of the Orangi Pilot Project, an NGO based in Karachi. She was shot dead on March 13, 2013. Five men, Abdul Raheem Swati, Ayaz Shamzai, Amjad Khan, Ahmed Ali, and Imran Swati, have been accused of the murder. A new JIT was formed to investigate her murder in February 2018 on the orders of the Supreme Court after Rahman’s sister Aquila Ismail said that two earlier JITs, constituted by the Sindh government, failed to investigate the case properly.

The police had earlier said that the men had confessed to the crime. However, when the men were presented in court today, they pleaded not-guilty and argued that the joint investigation team inquiry against them was illegal. They were nominated based on the JIT.

They said that the JIT did not record their statements. Their lawyers raised these objections among others.

Arguments were wrapped up by both sides, the prosecution and defense. The court has set August 9 for the final arguments.

Background to the case

Rahman was shot dead on March 13, 2013 on her way home from office. Gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on her car on Manghopir Road near Banaras. She was rushed to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, where she died. She was documenting the population in Karachi’s goths, which are not administered by any government body. However, the land mafia was threatened by it as it would’ve given property rights to the people. Perween mapped the more than 2,000 urban villages in Karachi.

She also led the team that developed a concept for a sewage disposal plan for Karachi, which was accepted by the local city government. Perween was a champion for the youth and women of Orangi, and a role model for many. Her murder was mourned across the country.

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