KARACHI: The National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) inquiry report in the high-profile alleged encounter of Naseemullah alias Naqeebullah Mehsud has further revealed that it was a “coordinated fake encounter” was staged by former Malir SSP Rao Anwar and his police team.
The NCHR inquiry team comprising of General Police Counter-Terrorism Department Additional Inspector (CTD AIG) Sanaullah Abbasi and South Zone General Police Director Inspector (DIGP) Azad Khan, while informing on eyewitnesses account said that Naqeebullah was “picked up” by plain-clothed men along two other men, Hazrat Ali and Qasim, on January 3 and taken to Sachal Police Post before being taken to another location.
The eyewitnesses stated that they were illegally detained and tortured for three days after which they were released on January 6, however, they said that Naqeebullah remained in custody and them along with Naqeebullah’s family later found out about encounter through the media on January 17.
The family after finding out had rebutted SSP Rao Anwar’s claim that the deceased was a ‘terrorist’.
A copy of the report available with the media states that the committee found no evidence of Naqeebullah’s involvement in any terrorist activities. Furthermore, the criminal records which the ‘encounter specialist’ had submitted to the committee were of an unknown ‘Naqeeb’ and not of the Naqeebullah murdered in the ‘encounter’.
The report concluded that taking into consideration that the victim was moved between various locations until he was finally murdered on January 13, the encounter is a prima facie case.
The committee went on to point out that ex-SSP Rao Anwar dodged inquiry proceedings. It said that he “deliberately avoided joining the inquiry proceedings” by ignoring attempts to contact him through mobile phone and wireless controls.
Anwar was called for a meeting with the NCHR On January 22, which was on a fact-finding visit on the instructions of National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq at the Central Police Office but he “stayed away” from the meeting.
Earlier, a report compiled by the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) on the National Assembly speaker’s order to conduct an inquiry into the alleged encounter of Naqeebullah Mehsud on the orders of Rao Anwar has stated that the body of Naseemullah alias Naqeebullah Mehsud bore torture marks.
Though the former SPP did not show up in investigation meetings, he remained in touch with the media. “He constantly appeared on media for interviews, he kept on interacting with media giving an impression that he was not called by the committee,” said the report.
“He showed extreme indiscipline and disobeyed the lawful commands by officials,” the report added.
The committee noticed that Rao Anwar was “constantly trying to hamper and obstruct the process of justice”. They also pointed out his attempt to flee the country from Islamabad via Benazir Bhutto International Airport using forged documents, fully aware that he was being “investigated for serious allegations and is bound by law to join the proceedings”.
It further requested that both witnesses Ali and Qasim be provided protection as they feared for their lives, were reluctant to appear during the inquiry and were only convinced by the Mehsud community to participate in the investigations.
“There is extreme fear prevailing amongst the witnesses who are fearful of their security, resultantly they are afraid to cooperate during investigations,” the report said, adding, “The eyewitnesses may be provided protection under the provisions of Sindh Witness Protections Act 2013.”
According to the FIR of the alleged encounter, “SIP Aman Ullah Marwat, ASI Gada Hussain, HC Sadaqat Ali Shah, HC Mohsin Abbas, PC Rala Shamim and driver/pc Rana Riaz were also present at the place of the incident at the time of the encounter.”
The inquiry by analysing call detail records (CDRs) stated that Anwar and along with his close aides SIP Marwat, SIP Shoaib, SIP Muhammad Anar, ASI Khair Muhammad, ASI Hussain, HC Faisal Mehmood, HC Abbas and PC Shamim were present on the scene of the alleged encounter or in its vicinity.
Another report by the NCHR states: “From the record shown, copy not provided, it became evident to the inquiry team that Rao Anwar has been involved in 192 encounters in which 444 people were killed. Keeping circumstantial evidence and its analysis, the NCHR Inquiry Team is of the opinion that the case is that of an extrajudicial killing, rather than a police encounter as claimed by the police party involved.”
Taking note of Sindh police’s inability to arrest SSP Anwar, Sindh Inspector General of Police AD Khawaja on Sunday wrote a letter to intelligence agencies and requested them to arrest Anwar and bring him before the law.
The letter stated that Anwar’s actions clearly showed that he was trying to escape from the country to avoid ongoing investigation in connection with the Naqeebullah murder case. On January 27, the Supreme Court had given a 72-hour deadline to police to arrest the culprit and present him before the investigating committee.
Furthermore, the police on Sunday conducted raids to arrest police officials wanted for their alleged involvement in the extrajudicial killing of Naqeebullah Mehsood.
The police officials were reportedly part of former SSP Malir Rao Anwar’s team which conducted the encounter.
According to police, the raids were carried out on the houses of former SHO Amanullah Marwat his brother Ehsanullah Marwat, Raees Abbasi, and Imran Qazi in Gulistan Colony Jafar Tayar and Shah Latif Town but no arrest was made.