KARACHI: A witness in a case pertaining to the extrajudicial killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud in a police encounter told the anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Monday that a statement establishing the presence of former Malir senior superintendent police (SSP) Rao Anwar at the site of the murder was extracted under duress, and that the witness had not been present at the time of the encounter.
Naqeebullah Mehsud, whose name was given as Naseemullah on his national identity card, was a shop owner fond of modelling. Hailing from South Waziristan, he was among four suspects killed in an ‘encounter’ with a police team headed by Rao Anwar in the Usman Khaskheli Goth on the outskirts of the metropolis in January 2018.
During Monday’s proceedings, Rao Anwar also appeared before the court amid high-security measures, as were the other 12 accused. The investigating officer was also present in the court.
Jahangir Shahzada, a head constable, was presented in the court by the prosecution as an eyewitness to the staged encounter allegedly led by Anwar. He had previously affirmed the prosecution’s version of events.
Shahzada’s written statement, which had been recorded by an oath commissioner, was submitted in court.
In his statement, he said that at the time of the encounter, he had been posted in Memon Goth and had nothing to do with the incident.
“I received a call from the SP Office on February 17. When I went there on February 18, I was arrested,” his statement read.
There, he said, he had been intimidated, threatened, and tortured by police personnel to provide a statement which was not based on facts, since he had not been present at the time of the encounter.
He added that his life was in danger and requested the court to provide him security.
Furthermore, the petitioner expressed reservations over Rao Anwar’s detention in Multan Lines in Malir Cantt.
On the other hand, the suspects pointed out that the copy of the case is not complete. The court directed that complete documents should be submitted to suspects’ lawyers.
The ATC decided to frame charges against the accused at the next hearing.
The case hearing has been adjourned until May 19.
Arguments pertaining to the provision of B-class to Anwar and Anwar’s bail plea will be heard in the next hearing. On Saturday, Rao Anwar had moved an application in the ATC, seeking bail in a case related to the alleged abduction and extrajudicial murder of South Waziristan native Naqeebullah Mehsud.
CHALLAN OVER FAKE ENCOUNTER SUBMITTED TO COURT:
The challan over the fake encounter of Naqeebullah Mehsud was also submitted to the court during the hearing.
The challan states that the investigation has proven that the case was fake, and suspects killed Naqeeb in a fake encounter.
The challan, which has been filed under the name of SP Investigation Abid Qaimkhani, further states that Rao Anwar and former DSP Qamar Ahmed Shaikh have been arrested in the case. The challan includes names of SSP Central among 28 other witnesses.
‘ABSCONDERS TO BE ARRESTED SOON’:
Addressing the media after case hearing, investigating officer (IO) Dr Rizwan assured that those absconding in the case will be arrested soon.
“We have submitted a copy of the FIR [First Information Report] to the suspects,” he apprised the media.
The investigation officer said that the government has the authority to keep Rao Anwar in sub-jail and they are just implementing the government orders.
“Higher authorities will take the decision pertaining to change in IO,” he said.
INTERIM CHARGE-SHEET SUBMITTED:
Earlier, on Friday, Police had submitted interim charge sheets against Anwar and others to the ATC in a case regarding foisting weapons and explosives upon Naqeebullah Mehsud and three other victims.
A second case was registered against Rao Anwar and former DSP Qamar Ahmed Shaikh along with their 10 absconding subordinates for foisting pistols and hand grenades upon Naqeeb and three others after killing them in a staged shoot-out on January 13 in Shah Latif Town.
In the interim reports, the IO charge-sheeted detained Rao Anwar and Qamar Shaikh and showed three former SHOs Amanullah Marwat, Shoaib Shaikh, alias Shooter, Annar Khan and seven other policemen as absconders.