Thursday, May 21, 2015

Black warrants: Hijackers to be executed on May 28

May 21, 2015

Officials in four jails in Sukkur, Faisalabad, Karachi and Rawalpindi confirmed that the hangings took place early Tuesday morning amid tight security. 

HYDERABAD: Around 15 years after being convicted and sentenced to death, the three Baloch persons accused of the May 1998 PIA plane hijacking will be executed on May 28. Two of them, Sabir Baloch and Shahsawar Baloch, are imprisoned in Central Jail, Hyderabad, and one, Shabbir Baloch, in Karachi Central Jail.

An anti-terrorism court in Hyderabad issued black warrants for their execution on May 28 on Thursday, the deputy jail superintendent Majid Akhtar confirmed. He added, however, that the jail has yet to formally receive a copy of the order.

The plane was hijacked from Balochistan and the hijackers wanted to land it in the Indian city of Bhuj. However, the pilot, Uzair Khan, managed to land the aircraft at Hyderabad Airport after which the security agencies succeeded in overpowering the hijackers without any casualty.

The plane had taken off from Gwadar for Karachi. Around 33 passengers and five crew members were on board.

The convicts were sentenced in August 1998. Their subsequent appeals in the Sindh High Court and the Supreme Court were dismissed in August 1999 and August 2000, respectively. The mercy plea was rejected last week. On Wednesday, the jail authorities submitted letters from the interior ministry to the ATC, which issued the black warrants on Thursday.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2015.


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