Press Trust of india

Pak court dismisses petition seeking public hanging of serial killer

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Lahore, Oct 16 :  A serial killer will be executed inside a jail on Wednesday after a Pakistani court on Tuesday dismissed a petition for his public hanging filed by the father of a seven-year-old girl, who was raped and murdered by the convict.

A two-member Lahore High Court bench comprising Justice Sardar Shamim Ahmed and Justice Shahbaz Rizvi dismissed the plea of Amin Ansari, father of the minor girl, seeking public hanging of convict Imran Ali.

In January last, police arrested Imran two weeks after he raped and killed the minor girl and threw her body into a garbage dump in the city of Kasur, some 50-km from Lahore.

The incident triggered nation-wide street protests in Pakistan with people demanding a harsh punishment for the 23-year-old accused. Violent protests in Kasur city following her murder claimed two lives.

An anti-terrorism court here last week ruled that Imran's death sentence will be carried out on October 17 at Lahore's Central Jail.

"You are required to hang Imran Ali, 23, by neck until he be dead at central jail, Lahore on October 17 and to return this warrant to this court with and endorsement certifying that sentence has been executed," read the ATC Lahore Judge Sajjad Ahmed.

Imran, a resident of Kasur, was accused of being involved in at least nine incidents of rape-cum-murder of minors. The court has given its verdict in five cases.

Dismissing Ansari's plea to hang Imran in full view of public, Justice Shamim asked the petitioner's lawyers "you should have filed the application to the government. We are not the government. You have come here so late. The date of the hanging has been fixed for tomorrow."

Ansari's counsel requested the court to allow a live telecast of the hanging inside the jail. The court did not agree and dismissed the plea.

The petitioner said the convict can be hanged publicly under the Section 22 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, which allows the government to specify the manner, mode and place of execution of any sentence passed under this Act.

"The purpose and objective behind the incorporation section is very much clear. The murderer of my daughter should be given exemplary punishment so as to avoid any such tragedy in future, God forbid. The statutory violation of Section 22 of ATA 1997 cannot be allowed under the Constitution of Pakistan hence calls for the interference of the LHC," the petitioner said.

The girl's mother had also demanded his public hanging.

"We want that the suspect should be stoned to death for his crime as hanging in jail is a punishment which is given to other criminals but this beast deserves either public hanging or stoned to death," she said.

According to central jail officials, Imran will be hanged at 5.30 am Wednesday.

The ATC on February 17 gave him four counts of death penalty, one life term, a 7-year jail term and Rs 4.1 million in fines.

The four death penalties were for kidnapping, raping and murdering the girl, and for committing an act of terrorism punishable under Section 7 of the Anti Terrorism Act (ATA).

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