Though the five-member joint interrogation team (JIT) formed on the directives of the Supreme Court (SC) has established suspended Malir SSP Rao Anwar-led January 13 encounter as fake, it has failed to ascertain how three men, apart from Naseemullah alias Naqeebullah Meshud, shot dead at a farmhouse in Shah Latif Town had reached there.
Meshud, son of Muhammad Khan, Muhammad Ishaq, son of Kareem Bux, Muhammad Sabir, son of Muhammad Bux, and Nazar Jaan, son of Atim Jaan, were gunned down by Anwar-led staged encounter at the farmhouse situated between Usman Khaskheli Goth and Sheedi Goth.
An FIR was registered under sections 353, 324 and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Court at Shah Lateef Town Police Station against the four men on a complaint of then station house officer (SHO) Amanullah Marwat.
Cases were also registered at Shah Lateef Town Police Station under Section 24 of the Sindh Arms Act (SAA) on a complaint of SHO Amanullah Marwat.
Sindh Inspector General of Police (IGP) Allah Dino Khowaja formed an inquiry committee on January 18, 2018, headed by Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) Additional IGP Dr Sanullah Abbasi, then East Zone deputy inspector general of police (DIGP) Sultan Ali Khowaja and South Zone DIGP Azad Khan to investigate the encounter. The inquiry committee has declared the shootout staged.
The investigation was handed over to East Zone Investigation-II SSP Abid Hussain Qaimkhani on January 21, and the East Zone DIGP formed a team of investigators, including the East Zone Investigation-I, East-Zone Investigation III, CTD Sindh Operations SSPs and the Sindh Karachi Special Branch SP, to assist Qaimkhani in the in probe.
On January 19, the SC took suo moto notice of the extra-judicial murder of Mehsud and directed IGP Khowaja to submit a report within three days.
Rao Anwar, who had gone into hiding a few days after the start of the investigation, surrendered before the SC on March 20 and the apex court ordered the formation of a new five-member JIT under the supervision of Additional IGP Aftab Ahmed Pathan.
On March 22, a JIT was formed under the supervision of Pathan, and Additional IGP Special Branch Waliullah Dal, East Zone DIGP Zulfiqar Larik, South Zone DIGP Azad Khan and District Central SSP Dr Rizwan Ahmed were announced its members.
The JIT handed over the investigation of an FIR (No. 40/2018) registered at Sachal Goth Police Station, and another FIR (No. 142/2018) registered under Section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act, Section 3/4 of the Explosives Act and Section 26 of the Sindh Arms Act at Shah Lateef Town Police Station to District Central SSP Dr Rizwan Ahmed on March 22.
The JIT also handed the investigation of the four FIRs (No. 18/2018 to 21/2018) registered at Shah Lateef Town Police Station under Section 26 of the Sindh Arms Act to SSP Dr Rizwan Ahmed Khan on March 22.
The JIT has established that the crime scene investigation, forensic examination of evidences, geo-fencing of the crime scene, statements of some arrested policemen and statements of two released friends of Naqeebullah Meshud have showed that all the four men shot dead in the staged shootout were innocent and they were killed extra-judicially by Anwar and his team.
Corroborating the statements of Mehsud’s friends and policemen present on the site of the encounter, the JIT has established that Mehsud was kidnapped and brought to the site for murder, but it has not explained how three other victims had reached the site of the staged shootout.
In its report, the JIT said a seven-member team, including DSP Jaffar Baloch, DSP Mehmood Hussain Raja, Inspector Shakir Hussain, Inspector Malik Muhammad Sarfaraz, ASI Shahzad, Constable Imtiaz Hussain and Constable Shafique Ahmed, was sent to Bahawalpur on February 22 to check the criminal record of Muhammad Sabir and Muhammad Ishaq.
The team submitted its report that said Ishaq had been taken into custody by policemen in Bahawalpur Tehsil, Ahmedpur Sharqia, on November 10, 2016, and Sabir had been taken into custody by law enforcers in Shujabad, Multan, on November 9, 2016, due to unknown reasons.
The team further said no criminal record of Sabir and Ishaq was found in their area police stations, and the Bahawalpur District Police Officer (DPO) in a report had also verified that both slain people were not involved in any criminal activity.
However, the JIT has not mentioned in its report that from where Nazar Jaan, one of the four slain men, was picked up and how he was brought to the site of the murder.
District Central SSP Dr Rizwan Ahmed Khan has told The News that the JIT had contacted the Bahawalpur DPO to ascertain details of any crime committed by Ishaq and Sabir, and it had contacted South Waziristan Agency’s political agent to ascertain the details of any crime committed by Nazar Jaan.
SSP Khan said the JIT received responses from the DPO and the political agent and they had confirmed that no criminal record of the slain men was found in their area police stations. He added that Sabir and Ishaq had been taken into custody on November 9, 2016, and November 10, 2016m respectively, from Shujabad and Ahmedpur Sharqia, while the JIT could not confirm where Nazar Jaan was caught and how he was brought to Shah Latif Town.
When SSP Khan was asked why the JIT did not ascertain how the three men had either travelled to or had been brought to the site of their murders, he replied that the JIT recorded statements of relatives of the slain men, but their statements needed to be verified.
However, East Zone Investigation-II SSP Abid Hussain Qaimkhani, who was also investigating the January 13 fake encounter, told The News that Ishaq was a teacher of a seminary in Ahmedpur Sharqia, and Sabir was a mason and constructed houses in Shujabad.
He said Nazar Jaan was also a mason and belonged to South Waziristan Agency. He added that Nazar Jaan had also worked as a mason in Karachi for some time, but it could not be confirmed whether he was taken into custody in his hometown or in Karachi.