— Inquiry report states Naqeebullah was picked up from Sohrab Goth on January 3
— No evidence of fire exchange with ‘terrorists’ found at the ‘encounter’ site
KARACHI: The inquiry committee investigating the Naqeebullah Mehsud murder case on Friday submitted its report to the Supreme Court (SC), which is due to hear the suo motu case at its Karachi Registry on Saturday.
According to the 15-page inquiry committee, around 444 ‘accused’ terrorists were killed on the pretext of police encounters under Anwar’s tenure. The data has been collected from July 25, 2011, to January 19, 2018.
The report lists the total number of police encounters that have occurred in the District Malir area in between July 25, 2011, and January 19, 2018.
The report reveals that the during the period, 745 police encounter cases were registered, in 192 cases the accused were killed and in 553 the accused weren’t killed. At least 891 suspects have been arrested in police encounter cases.
However, it is expected that the numbers could be much higher as the data for certain months, during the stated period, is not mentioned in the report.
According to the report, Naqeebullah was picked up from Sohrab Goth on January 3 along with two other people.
Additional IG Sanaullah Abbasi says that the other two people, who were picked up along with Mehsud, were later released after giving bribes. He said that their statements have been recorded and are now a part of the investigation.
The report stated that there was no evidence of a fire exchange with the victims (alleged terrorists), however, 26 casings of sub-machine guns in use by the police were recovered from the site.
The report also states that all the police officials who were involved in the ‘encounter’ are now in hiding.
On Thursday, Rao Anwar demanded that a joint investigation team (JIT) comprising members of intelligence agencies be formed to investigate the charges against him.
The police officer has gone into hiding and is refusing to answer to any authority investigating him for extrajudicial killings of terrorist suspects. In his statement, Anwar insisted that he was innocent and that the officers who had filed a case against him had done so because of personal animosity.
Anwar also raised questions over the credibility of the officers investigating the case against him and alleged that their “hands are not clean either” and warned that he has “solid evidence”.
“Police are carrying out raids at our houses and misbehaving with our families,” he claimed, accusing the police department of “undermining” the Karachi operation as well as disregarding the law.
“Police officials are addressing jirgas even though the Supreme Court and the Sindh High Court have imposed a ban on them,” he complained.
IG SAYS NEVER GAVE ORDERS FOR EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS:
Strongly rejecting Rao Anwar’s allegations, Sindh Police Chief AD Khowaja asked the former SSP Malir to surrender and appear before the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), tasked to investigate killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud.
“Neither I had ever given orders of extrajudicial killings, nor was it policy of Sindh police,” Khowaja told a private news channel.
Khowaja asked Rao to stop lying and surrender himself before the law.
MEHSUD DELEGATION CALLS ON GOVERNOR ZUBAIR, IGP KHOWAJA:
A delegation, led by a former additional inspector general of police Rehmat Khan Mehsood, of representatives of the Pashtun community, called on Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair at the Governor House, Karachi, and discussed the progress of the case.
Governor Zubair assured that no one was above the law and the inquiry was being held in a transparent manner, saying that the family of Naqeeb would get justice.
The delegation also met Sindh Inspector General of Police AD Khowaja and discussed the issue of Naqeeb’s killing. It expressed confidence over the investigation committee members, saying that their morale had risen after seeing that the investigation was going on impartially.
IGP Khowaja assured the delegation that the investigation was being carried out impartially, taking into account different angles of the incident.
The IGP said that the police were making their best efforts to make the life and property of the citizens safe, adding that respect for the law of land was not only obligatory for the public but for the police as well. “Anyone found breaking the law or taking it into one’s hands would be dealt strictly,” he added.
PROTEST CONTINUES AT SOHRAB GOTH:
Meanwhile, various leaders from different political parties gathered at Sohrab Goth to join protesters, mainly from the Pakhtun community, who are demanding the arrest of Rao Anwar and a judicial probe into the extrajudicial killings carried out in Karachi and other parts of Sindh.
A special team will depart for Islamabad on the basis of technical support in order to detain Rao Anwar. Police have reportedly taken care of all the legal requirements for Anwar’s arrest.
Earlier, the ‘encounter specialist’s’ location was traced at two different localities.
Out of the two numbers kept by Anwar, one was traced at Jamshoro Kotri whereas the other was showing his location in Rawalpindi. However, after a number of efforts, police did manage to trace his probable location in Islamabad.
Police have also arrested at least six scrap dealers from Karachi’s Sohrab Goth area, in order to widen the scope of the investigation.
NAQEEBULLAH MEHSUD KILLING CASE:
Anwar has been under scrutiny over his involvement in a police “encounter” that led to the extrajudicial killing of aspiring model Naqeebullah Mehsud and three others last week.
Though the former SSP at the time had insisted that the 27-year-old, who hailed from South Waziristan, was a militant with ties with terrorist outfits Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and the militant Islamic State, Naqeebullah’s family claimed that the deceased was, in fact, a shop owner fond of modelling.
A statement reportedly issued by a spokesperson of TTP’s South Waziristan chapter had termed Anwar’s claim as “baseless”, clarifying that the deceased had no links with the banned militant outfit.
Following protests from the deceased’s family and friends, the Sindh police chief had ordered an inquiry into the matter and asked a committee to submit a report.
Anwar was removed from his post after the committee concluded that in order to ensure a fair and transparent inquiry into the incident, the former SSP and SP Investigation-II East Altaf Sarwar Malik should be suspended.
On Tuesday, the inquiry team had concluded that the death of Naqeebullah was an extrajudicial killing. Sanaullah Abbasi had subsequently met the victim’s grieving friends, family and tribesmen gathered on the outskirts of Karachi.
Abbasi had assured Naqeebullah’s kin that he had never been involved in terrorism-related activities as alleged earlier, but had been innocent and was in fact killed in a ‘fake encounter’.
“This was a fake encounter in which an innocent man was killed,” Abbasi had said. “Whoever was involved will be brought to justice.”
The same day, a first information report (FIR) was also registered against the former SSP Malir and other police personnel accused of involvement in the ‘encounter’. The murder case was registered at Sachal police station after the victim’s father nominated Anwar and his team in the FIR.