RAWALPINDI – Two main prosecution witnesses in Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto’s murder case on Thursday apprised the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC-I) that the crime scene was washed off after collecting all necessary evidences as per practice followed in such incidents.

District Emergency Officer Dr Abdul Rehman and Firefighting Officer Ghulam Muhammad Naz appeared before the Special Judge of ATC Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman for cross-questioning and informed that if the incident site was not cleansed timely, the law and order situation would have worsened there.

They said it had been a practice of the city’s departments concerned that the sites of bomb blasts or suicide attacks were washed off within 90 to 105 minutes aimed at avoiding public provocation.

Ghulam Muhammad Naz said that when he reached the incident site, the City SHO (Station House Officer), security personnel and police team were busy in collecting evidences. “When all evidences were collected from the site, the firebrigade washed off the area after receiving the orders.” Dr Abdul Rehman informed the court that there was no negligence as all evidences were gathered with due care.

He said law and order situation in the city could have worsened, if the blood spots and wreckage of destroyed items were not removed from the incident site timely. Senior Public Prosecutor of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ahmed and counsel for former police officials Malik Rafiq accused former city police officer Syed Saud Aziz and former superintendent of Rawal Town Police were present in the court.

Malik Rafiq asked various questions to the prosecution witnesses about hosing down the crime scene. Chairperson of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was martyred in Liaquat Bagh, Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007.

On February 13, the Rawalpindi Bench of Lahore High Court (LHC) on a petition filed by FIA ordered the ATC to hear Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto’s murder case on daily basis and complete its trial in three months.