Thursday May 23, 2024

Two victims of Rao Anwar’s fake encounter had been missing since 2016, ATC told

By Zubair Ashraf
March 26, 2021

Two of the three people who were killed along with Naqeebullah Mehsud allegeldly by the then SSP Malir Rao Anwar in a fake encounter on the outskirts of Karachi had been missing since 2016, a member of the case inquiry committee told an anti-terrorism court on Thursday.

The said the member, whose identity has been withheld for security concerns, was presented as a witness by the prosecution in support of their case against Anwar and 22 other policemen who have been charged with the extrajudicial murders of Sabir, Ishaq, Nazar Jan and Naqeebullah.

The witness deposed that following the constitution of the inquiry committee on the orders of the Supreme Court, he was ordered by Karachi’s then additional inspector general of police to go to Punjab for an investigation into the case of Sabir and Ishaq, who were said to be relatives.

He added that their heirs told him that they were picked up by a law enforcement agency in 2016 from different cities in the province and they had been missing until the family received information that they had been killed in an encounter with police in Karachi in 2018.

Anwar had claimed that the four were terrorists who were killed in an exchange of fire with police in Shah Latif Town on January 13, 2018. However, a probe by a joint investigation team found his claim false and declared that the encounter was staged.

After recording of the testimony and the cross examination done by the defence side, the ATC adjourned the matter for two weeks, directing the investigation officer to present more witnesses at the next hearing on April 8.

Earlier, a witness had testified that Naqeebullah was picked up by police from a teashop on Abul Hassan Ispahani Road over a week before his killing. He said he saw some police mobiles arriving and then leaving after taking three people into custody, two of them were later released.

Of the accused, Anwar, Qamar Ahmed, Muhammad Yaseen, Supurd Hussain and Khizar Hayat are on bail. Another 13 -- Allah Yar Kaka, Muhammad Iqbal, Arshad Ali, Ghulam Nazuk, Abdul Ali, Shafiq Ahmed, Shakeel, Muhammad Anar, Khair Muhammad, Faisal Mehmood, Ali Akbar, Raees Abbas Zaidi and Syed Imran Kazmi -- are in jail in judicial custody.

Seven more defendants -- Amanullah Marwat, Shaikh Muhammad Shoaib, Gada Hussain, Mohsin Abbas, Sadaqat Hussain Shah, Rana Shamim and Riaz -- have been declared proclaimed offenders and warrants have been out for their arrests.

The ATC had begun the trial in March 2019. The father of the slain youth, Muhammad Khan, who lodged the complaint against police, has passed away. Hem before his death, had expressed his distrust in the judicial system and the authorities, saying that he had been receiving death threats for pursuing the case.