ISLAMABAD: An Islamabad district court on Monday extended the custody of veteran journalist Ayaz Amir and his son Shahnawaz Amir in the case of the murder of the latter’s wife in Islamabad last week.
Sarah Inam, a 37-year-old economist, had wed Shahnawaz around three months ago and was allegedly murdered by her husband at the suspect’s mother’s home in Islamabad on Friday. The murder took place a day after Inam had returned from Abu Dhabi where she works.
The police arrested Shahnawaz from the crime scene on Saturday morning while his father was arrested late on Sunday night.
The police on Monday presented both suspects before judicial magistrate Amir Aziz Khan after their physical remand expired.
A deputy superintendent of police Hakim Khan said Inam’s family was expected to arrive in Islamabad from Canada tonight, Monday, to pursue the case.
“The police will record their statements, and if necessary, some more sections could be included in the already registered FIR,” he told Arab News. “The police will be fully cooperating with the victim’s family to take this case to the logical conclusion.”
During Monday’s hearing, the investigation officer in the case, Inspector Habib-ur-Rehman, requested the court to extend police custody of the suspects as officers had yet to complete their investigation.
The judge inquired about Ayaz’s role and the inspector said he had been nominated by the victim’s uncle and aunt. He said the victim’s parents lived in Canada and would reach Pakistan by tomorrow, Tuesday.
“We need to determine the role of Ayaz Amir in the nikah [marriage contract], therefore the court should grant extension in his remand,” the inspector said.
Addressing the judge, Amir said he was “traumatized.”
“I had informed the police about the incident and even guided them to the farmhouse where the murder took place,” the journalist said. “Police have not asked me anything during the remand … Have they got any new evidence against me [to seek the remand extension]?”
The journalist questioned why the police were trying to link him to the murder. “Can you [the police] furnish any evidence of my involvementt?”
The court extended Shahnawaz’s remand for three days, while Ayaz’s remand was extended for a day.
Earlier in the day, additional sessions judge Sheikh Sohail granted interim bail to Shahnawaz’s mother, Sameena Shah, for three days and directed her to be part of the investigation.
In her bail petition to the court, Shah said her son Shahnawaz had informed her about the murder on Saturday morning in a phone call. She said she had no connection with the murder and was willing to cooperate with the police in the investigation.
According to the first information report, registered on the complaint of Shahzad Town Station House Officer Nawazish Ali Khan, Shahnawaz’s mother called police on September 23 and informed them that Shahnawaz had murdered his wife “with a dumbbell.”
“My son is present in the house and has hidden the body,” the FIR quotes Sameena as saying, adding that the police subsequently raided the house.
“He had locked himself up in his room. When they broke inside, there were stains of blood stains on Shahnawaz’s hands and clothes,” the police said in the complaint. “He then confessed that he had repeatedly hit his wife with a dumbbell during an argument and then hid her body in the washroom’s bathtub.”
Shahnawaz also said he had “hidden” the murder weapon under his bed, which police subsequently found and sent for a forensics examination.