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Monday Apr 16 2018

Investigators yet to reach a conclusion about firing on residence of SC judge

Supreme Court Justice Ijazul Ahsan. — Geo News FILE

LAHORE: Investigators have not yet found any clue pertaining to firing on Supreme Court Justice Ijazul Ahsan's residence in Lahore on Sunday.

Members of the joint investigation team (JIT), constituted to probe into the incident, visited the site on Monday. They, however, could not reach a conclusion.

The CCTV footage of the vicinity could also not provide any trace of culprits.

Sources informed Geo News that the JIT has widened scope of its investigation. The investigators have gathered details of marriage halls located close to the Justice Ahsan's residence.

Details of past firing cases and individuals possessing firearms in the locality have also been gathered, sources said.

Officials have been recording statements of residents while the process of collecting details of security guards in the neighbourhood is also underway, sources added.

Earlier in the day, Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar said they have been reviewing the matter, saying that no headway has been made in the case so far.

During the hearing of a case relating to football federation, the chief justice thanked the Supreme Court Bar Association and other lawyers' bodies for expressing solidarity after the incident.

Two separate firing incidents were reported at the Lahore residence of Justice Ijazul Ahsan on Sunday, after which the Punjab government formed the JIT to probe into the matter.

A statement by the apex court revealed that the judge's Model Town residence was struck by bullets first late Saturday night and then again early Sunday morning.

A first information report (FIR) was consequently filed against unidentified persons, with charges comprising attempted murder as well as a violation of the anti-terrorism act.

Initial probe report

As per the initial investigation report issued by the police, Pakistan Rangers VIP Venue shift in-charge Naik Abdur Razzaq reported — at around 10:45 PM on April 14 — that a stray bullet hit the upper collar of the main gate of a house in H Block Model Town in Lahore.

"Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA) Crime Scene Unit was called to process the incident to analyze it forensically," the investigation report said.

"They collected the evidence (data, photographs, and bullet slug)."

In addition, provincial government spokesman Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan, as per Reuters, said: "Bullet shells were found outside the residence."

The front part of a bullet that hit the door was recovered from the garage and authorities advised for the collection of all of the area's closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage.

Police believe the shots were fired from roofs of surrounding houses and not the street in front of the house. However, neighbours of the judge informed Geo News that they do not recall hearing gunshots in the night.

Makhdoom Saad, the Forensic Scientist Crime Scene Investigator, said a report on the incident shall be furnished on Monday.

As per the Crime Scene Unit's (CSU) preliminary spatial observations, the bullet could be stray and in the final stage of its parabolic trajectory fired from a distance, the report said. It added that a search operation has been conducted on the probable direction of the bullet trajectory.

The PFSA's Fire Arms and Tool Marks (FATM) department will provide a detailed forensic report once an analysis of the submitted evidence is completed.

A high-profile judge

Justice Ahsan often spends the weekend in Lahore, his hometown, where he, along with the chief justice, presides over several cases related to public welfare issues and other matters at the Lahore registry.

He is also the monitoring judge of the ongoing corruption cases against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. The judge was part of the five-member bench that disqualified the ex-premier in the Panama Papers case last year.

Justice Ahsan has also remained the chief justice of the Lahore High Court.


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