An anti-terrorism court in Karachi has sentenced five people to varied jails terms over the murder of Perween Rahman, the director of Orangi Pilot Project who was gunned down in 2013.
Four of the accused were sentenced to over 50 years in jail.
The verdict comes eight years after Raman was shot dead on March 13, 2013. She was the director of the Orangi Pilot Project, an NGO based in Karachi.
Five men, including Abdul Raheem Swati, Ayaz Shamzai, Amjad Khan, Ahmed Ali, and Imran Swati, were charged with the murder.
On October 15, the court reserved its verdict in the case after wrapping up arguments from both the prosecution and the defense.
On Friday, the court issued the final verdict.
Ahmed Ali, Amjad Hussain and Ayaz Swati have been sentenced to 57 years in jail each. Raheem Swati has been sentenced to 52 years in jail, while his son Imran Swati got seven years.
Earlier, on August 2, the suspects pleaded not guilty and argued that the joint investigation team inquiry against them was illegal. They were nominated on the basis of the JIT.
They said that the JIT did not record their statements. Their lawyers raised these objections among others. Consequently, on August 9, the final arguments were recorded from both sides.
Background to the case
Rahman was shot dead on March 13, 2013, on her way home from work. 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. Rahman mapped 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. Rahman was a champion for the youth and women of Orangi, and a role model for many. Her murder was mourned across the country.