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SC begins Naqeebullah murder hearing

Naqeebullah

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The Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan began hearing suo moto case of the extrajudicial killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud on Saturday at its Karachi Registry. Inspector General (IG) of Sindh AD Khawaja was summoned before the three member SC bench headed by Chief Justice (CJ) of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar. The SC had earlier taken a suo moto notice of Naqeebullah’s alleged fake encounter.

Naseembullah Mehsud, who was commonly known Naqeebullah, was a 27 year old from South Waziristan. He was murdered in a police encounter on 13th January in Shah Latif Town, Karachi. The police raid which killed Naqeebullah was headed by former SSP Malir Rao Anwar who claimed that the suspects were militants of TTP, but family members of Naqeeb rejected the claim and demanded an investigation against the police.

Human rights activists have condemned the innocent killing of Naqeebullah and are demanding swift justice for him, and all the other innocents who were killed in fake encounters.

During the hearing, CJP Saqib Nisar asked the IG Sindh about the whereabouts of former SSP Malir Rao Anwar and the efforts of police to arrest him. The IG Sindh explained that police had made every possible attempt of capturing Anwar but he had not been found yet. CJP inquired if the former SSP has fled the country or is someone hiding him in Karachi, to which the IG Sindh replied that it was a possibility but nothing can be said with any certainty yet.

Read more: Innocent Naqeebullah killed in fake encounter: Inquiry Report

The CJP instructed the IG Sindh to work on the case without any external pressure and with total freedom; the CJP also ordered the arrest of Rao Anwar within three days. The SC ordered the interior ministry and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to submit the travel details of former SSP Anwar, and also summoned affidavits from owners of all private chartered jets.

A First Investigation Report (FIR) was registered against Rao Anwar three days ago in the Sacchal Police Station, Karachi. The FIR was registered under Sections 365/302/344/109/34 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). Rao Anwar has been on the run for 3 days after the registration of the FIR. Police have detained nine suspected policemen who are believed to be a part of SSP Anwar’s team.

The media sources believe that he is being protected by some powerful politicians to hide their own secrets.  They demanded the safety of the public from the brutality and barbarity of the police force, and the formation of an honest police system.

Earlier, a three member police inquiry team headed by Additional IG Sanaullah Abbasi was formed by the Sindh government to probe into Naqeebullah’s case. The team finished its 15 page report on Friday and submitted it to IG Sindh and the SC. According to the report, Naqeebullah was arrested by the police on 3rd January and killed on 12th January along with 3 other suspects.

26 police shells were found from the site of the encounter but no evidence was found of any retaliatory fire from the suspects. The three member investigation team declared the encounter fake and Naqeebullah innocent. After the filing of the FIR and the report of the three member inquiry team, IG Sindh AD Khawaja formed another five member investigation team headed by Sindh Additional IG Aftab Pathan to look into the ‘staged encounter’.

Read more: Rao Anwar’s name placed on Exit Control List

Former SSP Rao Anwar had allegedly tried to flee the country on Monday from Benazir Bhutto International Airport, after the news was published on the media, the SC ordered Rao Anwar’s name to be placed on the Exit Control List (ECL). IG Sindh wrote letters to IG Islamabad and IG KP for their assistance in the capture of the former SSP.

The police raid which killed Naqeebullah was headed by former SSP Malir Rao Anwar who claimed that the suspects were militants of TTP, but family members of Naqeeb rejected the claim and demanded an investigation against the police.

Police sources have reported that the police investigators conducted a raid in the New Sabzi Mandi police post and took the in-charge Sub Inspector Muhammad Yaseen into custody and later eight more cops were arrested. The police sources have also reported that three policemen who were believed to be behind Naqeebullah’s abduction were detained by the investigation team. They have allegedly confessed to the crime and offered their assistance in capturing Rao Anwar.

Read more: Rao Anwar has the right to a transparent investigation: Bilawal

Media sources suspect that Rao Anwar has already fled the country and that he might have been assisted by political high-ups trying to protect him. The cause of their suspicion is that Rao Anwar being one of the most wanted men in the country still managed to avoid arrest for almost a week now. The media sources believe that he is being protected by some powerful politicians to hide their own secrets.

Human rights activists have condemned the innocent killing of Naqeebullah and are demanding swift justice for him, and all the other innocents who were killed in fake encounters. They demanded the safety of the public from the brutality and barbarity of the police force, and the formation of an honest police system.

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