Killer of American citizen accused of blasphemy sent to prison on 14 days remand.

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PESHAWAR, Aug 04: The anti-terrorism court of Peshawar has sent the killer of Tahir Ahmad Naseem, accused of blasphemy to prison on 14 days remand.

The blasphemy accused, Tahir Ahmad Naseem, a US citizen, was shot down inside a courtroom at the Judicial Complex here on July 29. An official source told that the police records showed the suspect was 17 years old and was suggesting that he is a juvenile person.

The United States has urged Pakistan to take action over the killing of an American national in a crowded courtroom in Peshawar as he faced trial for blasphemy.

Tahir Ahmad Naseem, 57, was seated in the court of an additional sessions judge on July 29 after arguments in his case, awaiting to be shifted to prison, when he was shot multiple times at close range.

“We extend our condolences to the family of Tahir Naseem, the American citizen who was killed inside a courtroom in Pakistan,” the US State Department said in a tweet.

The suspect was remanded in police custody for three days on July 30. The court later extended the remand for a day. The police produced the suspected killer, a resident of Gulabad area, in the anti-terrorism court amid strict security measures. He was taken to the court on the Khyber Road in an armoured personnel carrier.

The police officials, including the counter-terrorism department’s, sought extension in the suspect’s physical remand saying a team of officers looking into the incident needed more time to get answers to certain queries. The court rejected the request and asked the JIT to visit the suspect in prison.

The suspect was held after he killed the under-trial prisoner in the courtroom. The FIR of the occurrence was registered at East Cant police station under Section 302 of Pakistan Penal Code, Section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act and Section 15 of Arms Act.

In a video message, the suspect’s father claimed that his son left the house on Saturday (July 25) saying he’s going to get admission in a seminary. He said he learned about the killing from social media.

A case against the deceased was registered here at the Sarband police station on Apr 25, 2018, under the Pakistan Penal Code sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups), 295-A (acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class), 295-B (defiling Holy Quran), 295-C (derogatory remarks in respect of Holy Prophet) and 298 (uttering words to wound religious feelings).

The complainant in that case was Malik Owais, a resident of Nowshera, who studies in an Islamabad seminary. He had accused the deceased of making false religious claims and telling him that he had been receiving Divine Revelations in dreams.

The deceased was indicted on Feb 4, 2019, under PPC sections 153-A, 295-A and 298, while the charge sheet didn’t have PPC sections 295-B and 295-C. The deceased had denied charges and decided to stand trial.

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