SC gives police 10 days to arrest main suspect in journalist’s killing

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LAHORE: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has ordered the Punjab Police to arrest the key suspect in the murder case of journalist Zeeshan Butt in 10 days.

The apex court took up the suo motu case of the journalist’s killing at the Lahore registry on Saturday. During proceedings Inspector General Police Punjab Arif Nawaz Khan submitted a report pertaining to arrests made in the case. The report stated that police had arrested three suspects in the case, however the main suspect Imran alias Mani was still at large.

When Chief Justice, Justice Saqib Nisar inquired from the IGP how long it would take to arrest the suspect, he asked for 10 days which was granted.

On April 6, the apex court had directed IGP Punjab Arif Nawaz to arrest the accused in the case at the earliest and launch an inquiry against him under the anti-terrorism act. During proceedings the chief justice had inquired if the accused belonged to any political party and was informed by the IGP that he was affiliated with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.

Print journalist Zeeshan Butt was murdered on March 27 in the Union Council Office of Samaryal tehsil of Sialkot. His family has accused UC Chairperson Imran Cheema of the murder.

Zeeshan Butt had visited Imran Cheema’s office to inquire about taxes levied on shop owners, according to an audiotape of his last telephone conversation with District Council chairperson Hina Arshad Waraich on the day of his murder.

Zeeshan Butt had called Hina Waraich to inform her of death threats he received from Imran Cheema following a heated exchange with him. Butt did not get a chance to complete his conversation as the sound of three gun shots were heard during the telephone conversation. The journalist succumbed to injuries received from firing within the UC office premises – the site of the incident. APP/AFP

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