Acid attacker sentenced for life

Maqbool AhmedStaff Reporter

11th Aug, 2021. 08:59 pm
Bahawalpur acid attack

KARACHI: An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Karachi on Wednesday handed down life imprisonment to Muhammad Sohail on charges of acid attack on a male schoolteacher over a dispute.

Muhammad Sohail was found guilty of attacking with acid and subsequently causing severe burns to Ahmer Iqbal for refusing to back out from a marriage proposal he made to his colleague Asra, whom the accused also wanted to marry.

The judge of ATC-VII had earlier reserved his judgment after concluding the trial in the judicial complex inside the Central Prison Karachi.

The judge held that the victim, Iqbal, had lost both his eyes in the acid attack, therefore, it was the state’s responsibility to provide him compensation for the human rights violation he suffered.

“The redress can include treatment of the victim and monetary compensation. Many acid survivors undergo numerous complicated surgical procedures which are very costly and require particular expertise and facilities either in Pakistan or in a foreign country,” he noted.

The judge observed that looking at the social and financial back ground of the victim, the expenses for his medical surgeries and procedures at private health facilities whether available in the country or abroad should be borne by the treasury of the Sindh government.

The judge directed the Sindh chief secretary to undertake responsibility of providing free medical treatment and basic needs of the victim till his full recovery enabling him to earn his livelihood. He directed the office to send a copy of the verdict to the chief secretary for compliance.

According to the prosecution, Iqbal and Asra were teachers at the same school in Shah Faisal Colony and the victim had sent her marriage proposal which she and her parents accepted, while they refused a marriage proposal from accused Sohail.

In February 2016, Ahmer and Asra had gone to Awami Markaz where they accidently came across Sohail, who threatened Iqbal to back out from the marriage. However, Iqbal refused and returned home.

On April 29, 2016, Sohail called Iqbal outside his house, saying he had brought a gift for him. As Iqbal came out, the accused threw plastic mug full of acid on Iqbal’s face, and escaped.

The victim was rushed to the Hill Park General Hospital for treatment and afterwards shifted to Burns Ward at Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital.

According to prosecution, the victim was left completely blind, while he also suffered scars on his face, neck and hands.

 

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