An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Tuesday approved the application requesting that two FIRs in the Naqeebullah murder case be combined for a joint trial and fixed March 25 as the date for the possible indictment of the accused.
Twenty-seven-year-old Naseemullah Mehsud, aka Naqeebullah, was killed along with Sabir, Nazar Jan and Ishaq in a fake encounter in Shah Latif Town on January 13 last year by the then Malir SSP Rao Anwar and his team.
Twenty-two policemen were booked for Naqeeb’s murder. Of these, 11 are in custody, six are absconding and five — Anwar, former DSP Qamar Shaikh, SI Muhammad Yaseen, ASI Supurd Hussain and HC Khizer Hayat — are out on bail.
On Monday the ATC-III had reserved the order on the application after hearing the arguments of both sides. The application under Section 21 of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1999 was moved by the prosecution last month.
The prosecutor and the complainant’s lawyer had argued that FIR No. 40/2018 and FIR No. 142/2018 registered at the Shah Latif Town police station were against the same set of accused and should be combined for a joint trial.
FIR No. 40/2018 was registered on the complaint of Naqeeb’s father Khan Muhammad against Anwar and his team for allegedly kidnapping his son for ransom, keeping him in unlawful detention and later killing him in a fake encounter.
FIR No. 142/2018 was lodged by the former investigating officer of the case against the same people for foisting bogus cases on the deceased about the recoveries of arms and ammunition from them.
In January the ATC-II had quashed five FIRs against the deceased after an inquiry found them concocted. The inquiry report stated that Anwar and his team had tried to distort the evidence to suppress and conceal the facts and obstruct the course of justice.
Pronouncing the verdict on Tuesday, the ATC-III judge allowed the application and adjourned the hearing until March 25. According to the court office, charges will be framed against the accused in the next hearing.
Naqeeb and his friends Hazrat Ali and Qasim were picked up by the police on January 4 last year from a teashop named Sher Agha Hotel on Abul Hassan Ispahani Road. They were kept in illegal confinement and badly tortured. Ali and Qasim were released two days later while Naqeeb was killed in a fake police encounter on January 13.
Anwar had claimed that the 27-year-old was a terrorist and was killed with his accomplices during a shootout with law enforcers in the jurisdiction of the Shah Latif Town police station.
Contrary to Anwar’s repeated claim, there is no evidence of Naqeeb’s involvement in any terrorist activity. His social media profile portrays him as a liberal and fun-loving young man with a penchant for modelling.
Regarding the claim of an exchange of gunfire, the examination of the crime scene found that no shots were fired from the inside of the house where the alleged terrorists were supposedly hiding. No hand grenade was hurled either.