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Investigating sect-based motives: Two govt employees arrested for murder

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GILGIT:Two men accused of killing a prominent member of the Gujjar community in Gilgit have been arrested by the police and booked under the anti-terrorism act.

HunzaNews, September 9th, 2014.

“The accused are government employees and have confessed to the crime. It appears to be a sectarian killing but we will investigate this from every angle,” SSP Ali Zia told reporters at his office on Monday.

Hayat Khan was shot dead at Danyor Chowk on September 3 while he was on his way back to Gilgit from Sultanabad. The regional president of Gujjar Ittehad Council, a representative body of Gujjars across Pakistan, and a Sunni, Hayat was 63 at the time of his death.

Applauding the role of locals in apprehending the accused, Zia said the arrests would not have been possible without their support.

The culprits were identified as Qasim Shah and Gul Zaman, both residents of Danyor. Shah is a stenographer at the Gilgit-Baltistan Ministry of Minerals and Zaman works as teacher in a school set up by the police.

Zia said Zaman plotted Hayat’s murder, while Shah carried it out. Zaman also helped Shah in escaping from the crime scene, added the SSP. The two men confessed to the murder during interrogation and have been booked under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997. According to the police, Shah has also been involved in a couple of other murders.

Gilgit has remained largely peaceful since 2012, the year which was marred by the worst sectarian bloodshed in decades.

Hayat’s murder created panic in the town but the arrests seemed to restore some of the public’s faith.

Express Tribune

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