Women’s rights activists place candles and flowers beside posters with the pictures of Noor Mukadam in a July file photo. Image Credit: AFP

Islamabad: A trial court of Islamabad has indicted 12 accused, including the prime suspect, Zahir Jaffer, his parents in the Noor Mukadam murder case.

Additional District & Sessions Judge Ata Rabbani announced the indictment and handed the charge sheet to the accused who pleaded not guilty.

The charge sheet was framed against Zahir Jaffer, his parents, Zakir Jaffer and Asmat Adamjee, their three servants, Iftikhar, Jan Muhammad and Jameel and six Therapy Works staffers named Tahir Za-hoor, Amjad, Dilip Kumar, Abdul Haq, Wamiq and Samar Abbas.

Inside the courtroom, Zahir Jaffer repeatedly interrupted the proceedings while trying to address the judge directly.

On one occasion, he addressed Shaukat Mukadam, father of Noor Mukadam and begged of him for forgiveness. “Noor was in a relationship with me. I admit beheading her as she was also willing to be ‘sacrificed.’

While referring to the day of her murder, July 20, as the day of Sacrifice (Eid al Adha) Zahir Jaffer said, “Sacrifice is a ritual in Islam and Noor wanted to sacrifice her life and presented herself for that pur-pose.”

My life is now in your hands, either pardon me or hang me but I don’t want to return to the jail as they (police) beat me there,” said Zahir Jaffer aloud in the courtroom. To Zahir Jaffer’s claim and theatrics, Shaukat Mukadam gave a one-line reply “You are lying.”

Prosecution witnesses summoned on October 20

The trial court has now fixed Oct 20 for recording of the statements by the prosecution witnesses.

Senior advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Shah Khawar and Public Prosecutor Hassan Abbas appeared before the court on behalf of Shaukat Mukadam and the state.

However, when the defence lawyer Rizwan Abbasi started giving arguments seeking to stop the in-dictment of the accused before the provision of complete documents, Zahir Jaffa addressed the judge and made it clear Abbasi was not his lawyer. Zahir on a number of occasions disassociated himself with Rizwan Abbasi and tried to make a point that Abbasi was not his counsel and he should be given a chance to speak.

At this, Rizwan Abbasi said he was representing the prime suspect’s father Zakir Jaffer in the case. The lawyer argued that the evidence against his client was not sufficient to convict him.

Asad Jamal, counsel for Asmat Adamjee, also pointed out the challan did not contain a complete rec-ord and hence charges could not be framed against his client. First we should be given the complete set of documents.

Zakir Jaffer, father of Zahir Jaffer didn’t receive the charge sheet, saying in the absence of his lawyer, he could not sign it.

Noor could have been saved had Zakir timely informed police

According to the police challan on July 20, Zahir Jaffer and Noor entered into a brawl after the latter refused to marry him and then the accused illegally detained her in a room of his house in Islamabad’s posh sector F-7/4.

According to the challan, before beheading Noor, Zahir made at least four calls to her parents at 2:21pm, 3pm, 6:35pm and 7:29pm. “Noor Mukadam could have been saved had Zakir Jaffer timely in-formed the police,” it said.

caption; Women’s rights activists place candles and flowers beside posters with the pictures of Noor Mukadam in a July file photo.