Suspect Faisal has been charged with last week’s murder of Tahir Naseem, who had been accused of blasphemy two years back
A Peshawar Anti-Terrorism Court on Monday remanded for 14 days the suspected killer of a man accused of blasphemy.
Suspect Faisal, alias Khalid, shot and killed blasphemy accused Tahir Naseem last week while the latter was waiting for his hearing in a Peshawar courtroom.
During proceedings on Monday, the court was informed that the suspect had been charged with the murder of Naseem. It was told that the accused had immediately been placed under arrest and the murder weapon also confiscated.
Police said that they needed an extension in the suspect’s physical remand because certain queries remained unanswered. However, the court rejected the request and directed the interrogators to visit the suspect in prison.
A first information report has been registered against the shooter under Sections 302 (punishment for premeditated murder), Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act and Section 15 of the Arms Act.
Despite the mounting evidence of Faisal’s guilt, his arrival at the court was greeted by a large group of lawyers, who claimed he was in the right to murder a blasphemy suspect. According to local media, several prominent lawyers have expressed a desire to represent Faisal in court in the case in a scene reminiscent of lawyers rallying in support of Mumtaz Qadri, the since executed murderer of then-Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer.
Meanwhile, following Faisal’s appearance, a picture of him being transported to court by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa police went viral on social media. Police officials reportedly took the picture, a selfie, because they supported the accused and his alleged murder of Naseem.
On July 29, blasphemy accused Tahir Ahmad Naseem, a U.S. citizen and former Ahmadi, was shot dead inside a courtroom in Peshawar. He had been in police custody since 2018, when he was accused of having committed blasphemy by claiming to be a prophet.