–Sindh IG Khowaja says inquiry report termed the encounter in which Naqeebullah was killed as suspicious
–Investigation would take another five days to complete its report in the matter
–Initial inquiry report finds Rao Anwar guilty of committing the crime
KARACHI: Senior police official Rao Anwar, who is under scrutiny over his involvement in the alleged extrajudicial killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud, was removed from his post as the senior superintendent of police (SSP) Malir on Saturday, as police have failed to produce concrete evidence in support of Anwar’s claim that the deceased was linked with the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.
The decision was taken by Sindh Inspector General of Police (IGP) AD Khowaja soon after an inquiry committee looking into the alleged murder of Mehsud submitted its initial report to the Sindh police on Saturday.
IGP Khowaja said the report termed the encounter in which Naqeebullah was killed as suspicious.
“The man who was killed in Karachi encounter is not the Naqeebullah against whom an FIR was registered in 2014 in Sachal police station. For the first time, a suspicious encounter case has surfaced which is being investigated,” he revealed while assuring that the probe would be fair and transparent.
“We have removed both the officers so that the investigation against them is not influenced,” Khowaja added.
The IGP Sindh continued that the investigation would take another five days to complete its report in the matter.
“The committee is of unanimous opinion that in order to ensure fair and transparent enquiry of the incident and investigation into the case, SSP Malir Rao Anwar and SP Investigation-II East Altaf Sarwar Malik may be transferred and placed under suspension,” reads the press release issued by IGP Khowaja, adding that a letter has been sent to the Sindh government chief secretary to suspend Anwar and Malik.
The committee has also recommended that Anwar and Malik be placed on the Exit Control List (ECL). A letter to this effect has been sent to the Interior Ministry.
A notification regarding the transfer of Rao Anwar says: “Mr Anwar Ahmed Khan, an officer of Sindh Police (BS-18), Senior Superintendent of Police, District Malir, Karachi Range, is transferred and directed to report to CPO Sindh, Karachi with immediate effect and until further orders.”
The same notification also states that SP Malik has been removed from his post and given the same directives.
According to a separate notification, SSP City Adeel Hussain Chandio will replace Anwar on his post, while SSP Shiraz Nazeer will take on the role of SSP City in Chandio’s stead.
The committee, headed by Additional IGP Sindh Counter-Terrorism Department Dr Sanaullah Abbasi and comprising DIG East Sultan Ali Khowaja and DIG South Azad Khan, was formed on Thursday to investigate the veracity of the “police encounter”.
Anwar had appeared before the committee on Friday and submitted ‘evidence’ supporting his claim that Mehsud was a TTP militant.
Dr Sanaullah Abbasi on Saturday said that the report contains statements from police officials present at the scene of the ‘encounter’. The investigation is underway and will be concluded after speaking to Mehsud’s family. The committee will submit its conclusive findings in five days, says the report.
“Everyone on this investigative team is honest and the nation will see justice be served,” Abbasi said after submitting the report.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM)-Pakistan Chief Dr Faroor Sattar said that the entire responsibility of Naqeebullah’s killing in a police encounter could not be placed on the shoulders of Rao Anwar.
“This is not a first case of a fake police encounter. Even in the past, such encounters have happened,” said Sattar while talking to media in Karachi.
According to him, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and provincial home minister Sohail Anwar Sial should also be held accountable.
INNOCENT OR TERRORIST?
On January 13, SSP Anwar had claimed to have gunned down four members of the defunct TTP in an encounter near Shah Latif Town in Karachi.
According to him, Naqeebullah had links with the banned TTP and was living in Karachi’s Sohrab Goth area using a fake name.
Rehman Mehsud, a cousin of Naqeebullah described him as a handsome young lad with attractive features.
A father of three, Naqeebullah, used to religiously post his photos on social media, receiving likes and comments from friends and others, added Rehman.
According to details, Naqeebullah had arrived in Karachi a year ago and was living at Sohrab Goth. He had also rented two shops to run his clothing business.
On January 3, plainclothes personnel had abducted him from a tea shop in Sohrab Goth.
Meanwhile, reliable sources said that the inquiry team probing Naqeebullah’s murder had found that the Waziristan native was killed in a “fake encounter” by Malir SSP Rao Anwar.
In the initial report submitted to Sindh police, the high-level committee mentioned that the deceased had no “militant tendencies” as claimed in the police report. After concluding a thorough investigation, including visiting the site of the encounter, the committee members said that Naqeebullah was an aspirational man who had no criminal history or militant inclinations. The committee also monitored the deceased’s social media pages and concluded that he was not conservative and seemed to be living a happy married life with his young family.