June 30th, 2021
By Rehan Piracha
The Joint Investigation Team will submit its report on the murder of journalist Ajay Lalwani in the coming week, an official told an anti-terrorism court in Sukkur on June 29.
Due to the absence of the defence counsel, the anti-terrorism court adjourned the hearing of Lalwani’s murder case till 12th July. Lalwani was killed in Salehpat Town on March 18. The main suspects former chairman of Salehpat town committee Inayat Shah, vice-chairman Ihsan Shah, and former SHO Ashiq Mirani appeared in the court. Besides these three suspects who are on interim bail till July 12, police have arrested five other accused- Akbar Mangrio, Raza Shah, Jameel Shah, Mustafa Mirani and Janab Mirani- in the case.
According to Heera Nand, uncle of slain journalist, an official from the JIT, constituted by the Sindh government to investigate the murder, told the court that it would be submitting its report in the coming week. The JIT comprises five officers of Sindh Police, Inter-Services Intelligence, Intelligence Bureau, Police Special Branch and Pakistan Rangers.
According to the government notification, the JIT would also consider an interim police investigation report and investigate the reasons and causes of death of Ajay Lalwani inside the Civil Hospital in Sukkur. The JIT, which was constituted in May, had to submit its report within 30 days but has not done so yet.
Heera Nand said the local police was not doing much towards evidence gathering and investigation in the case and was relying on the JIT investigation. “The local police want to wash their hands off the investigation and wanted to proceed in the case based on the findings of the JIT report whenever it’s submitted,” Nand told Voicepk.net. He also accused the defence team of taking repeatedly adjournments in order to delay proceedings in the case. He expressed dismay at the delay in submission of the JIT report.
Nand said the JIT team had interviewed Lalwani’s family members last month as part of their investigation. “The family apprised the JIT team about the fake cases lodged by main suspect Ihsan Shah and the death threats to the late journalists,” Nand said.
In an interim challan submitted to the court in April, police had charged SHO Ashiq Mirani, PPP local leaders Inayat Shah and Ihsan Shah, with the murder of Ajay Lalwani.