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CJP gave three-day deadline to arrest SSP Rao Anwar

28 January, 2018

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KARACHI: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday gave a three-day deadline to the Sindh Police to arrest former Malir senior superintendent of police (SSP) Rao Anwar.

The deadline was given during a hearing of a suo motu case regarding the extra-judicial killing of Naqeebullah Mehsood.

Naqeebullah, a 27-year-old hailing from South Waziristan, was among four men killed in an ‘encounter’ with a police team headed by Anwar in the Usman Khaskheli Goth on the outskirts of the metropolis.

Anwar had insisted at the time that Naqeebullah was a militant affiliated with the banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Sindh Inspector General of Police (IGP) AD Khawaja and Additional Inspector General (AIG) Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Sanaullah Abbasi were present in court during the hearing, which was conducted by a three-member bench headed by the CJP at the Supreme Court’s (SC) Karachi Registry.

Khawaja told the court that after the first information report was lodged against Anwar, the police had traced his location to Islamabad. However, the IG was unable to tell the chief justice the current whereabouts of the former SSP.

Khawaja claimed that the police had “tried their best” to arrest Anwar but had so far been unable to do so.

On being asked when the police would be able to arrest and produce Anwar in court, Khawaja remained silent.

Naqeebullah’s father, who had also appeared in court, expressed his lack of trust in Sindh Police and asked the court to form a judicial commission to investigate his son’s extra-judicial killing.

However, the CJP assured him that the court trusted the Sindh Police and urged him to allow the joint investigation team and the police to continue with their investigation.

“A judicial commission cannot conduct a criminal investigation,” Justice Nisar explained to Naqeebullah’s father.

Justice Nisar asked Khawaja if he was under any political pressure, to which the IGP replied in the negative. The CJP told him to work “freely” and vowed that the court will not let “honest officers fail”.

The three-member police committee, investigating the encounter under AIG Sanaullah Abbasi, submitted its report in the court today saying that the incident “appears to be a coordinated fake encounter”.

The report said that Naqeebullah Mehsud was picked up from a tea hotel on Abul Hassan Isfahani Road along with two friends, Hazrat Ali and Qasim. The three friends were kept in illegal confinement and subjected to torture, and while Ali and Qasim were later released, Naqeebullah was killed in a staged encounter.

The report said that no evidence of Naqeebullah being a terrorist or a criminal was found and the report presented by Rao Anwar on the deceased’s activities was actually of a different person who goes by the same name.

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