Rao Anwar accuses ‘prejudice’ in probe against him

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Rao Anwar accuses ‘prejudice’ in probe against him

KARACHI: Former senior superintendent police for Malir, Rao Anwar, who is in hot waters for his alleged role in the encounter of youth Naqeebullah Mehsud, on Sunday accused the probe committee’s head and a member of having biases against him as he boycotted the committee proceedings.

Anwar, along with other suspects, had been asked to appear before the DIG East on Sunday night at 11pm to record his statement, but he failed to show up.

Anwar announced he was boycotting the proceedings as “two members of the police inquiry team— Additional Inspector General Sanaullah Abbasi and Sultan Khawaja— held ‘personal biases’ against him”.

“I am being wrongfully maligned as opposed to the facts,” the former SSP said, adding, “Instead of ascertaining the facts, an inquiry is being run against me and not against the SHO who was involved in the encounter.”

“I was not allowed to appear before the inquiry committee despite the fact that I tried to establish contact with the DIG East’s office,” Anwar said giving his side of the story.

The former Malir SSP claimed he had tried to contact the office of DIG East four times after Friday prayers, but couldn’t get any positive response.

Later, DIG East Sultan Khowaja briefed media persons that police tried to reach Anwar but his phone was switched off. “We had ordered Rao Anwar and his team to appear today, but they didn’t come,” he said.

Talking to a media outlet, Anwar said even if it’s proved that the encounter had been ‘staged’, “I had nothing to do with it. I did not mess up the case.”

“I did not arrest Naqeeb, nor did I interrogate him,” he said.

The former Malir SSP disclosed that he has already given the names of two police officers to the inquiry committee, namely Ali Akbar and Faisal, “who might have detained and treated Naqeeb as a terrorist and killed him along with three other ‘genuine terrorists’.”

Anwar said he had visited the site of encounter in order to raise the morale of police party.

“I often talk to media following an encounter only to take the security risk on myself, instead of the police party,” he maintained.

“The police party might have misguided me,” admitted the seasoned police officer.

The Sindh Police had decided to arrest Anwar and his entire police party, allegedly involved in the ‘extrajudicial murder’ of Naqeebullah, who hailed from South Waziristan.

Naqeebullah was among four suspects killed in an ‘encounter’ with a police team headed by Rao Anwar in Usman Khaskheli Goth on the outskirts of the metropolis last week.

A high-level meeting of senior police officials in Karachi, chaired by Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) Additional DIG Sanaullah Abbasi, who is also heading the inquiry committee, had decided to arrest Rao Anwar and other police personnel, for the “fake” encounter. The committee had also suggested that Anwar be put on the Exit Control List (ECL).

In addition to that, the meeting decided that all the SHOs of East District, where Anwar was deputed as SSP, will be transferred.

On Saturday, Sindh Inspector General of Police (IGP) AD Khowaja suspended Rao Anwar from his post after the inquiry committee looking into the alleged murder of Mehsud submitted its initial report.

IGP Khowaja had said the report termed the encounter in which Naqeebullah was killed “suspicious”.

“The man who was killed in Karachi encounter is not the Naqeebullah against whom an FIR was registered in 2014 in Sachal police station. For the first time, a suspicious encounter case has surfaced which is being investigated,” he had said.

“We have removed the officers so that the investigation against them is not influenced,” Khowaja had added.

The Sindh IGP had said that the investigation would take another five days to complete its report in the matter.

11 SHOS TRANSFERRED: In the latest development which can be linked with the ongoing probe into the killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud, Karachi police transferred and replaced the station house officers (SHOs) of 11 police stations falling in Malir district.

Almost all SHOs of Malir district were transferred by the acting city police chief on Sunday ostensibly on recommendations of the committee probing the alleged extra-judicial killing of 27-year old Naseemullah, better known as Naqeebullah Mehsud, who was killed on January 13 in Shah Latif Town, according to officials.

On the orders of acting AIG Karachi Dr Aftab Ahmed Pathan, SHOs of Sukhan, Gadap City, Site Superhighway, Ibrahim Hyderi, Sohrab Goth, Malir City, Mobina Town, Memon Goth, Malir Cantonment, Steel Town and Shah Latif Town have been transferred and replaced.

As per the notification, these transfers have been made as per the recommendation of DIGP East Zone, Sultan Ali Khowaja.

The transfers see Inspector Javed Jalbani, Inspector Shaur Bangash and Inspector Sohail Khan among others deployed in various areas of Malir District as replacements for those transferred out.

The massive restructuring of police in the district comes a day after Senior Superintendent of Police Malir Rao Anwar was removed from his post.

POLICE ASSURE PROVISION OF SECURITY TO NAQEEBULLAH’S FAMILY: Moreover, AIG Sanaullah Abbasi contacted the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Inspector-General Police and sought his help in the extrajudicial killing probe of Naqeebullah Mehsud.

The AIG said that KP IGP Salahuddin Khan Mehsood had assured him that Naqeebullah’s family would be sent to Karachi under full security so that they could participate in the investigation.

Commenting on the progress of the committee formed to probe the killing, Sanaullah said the committee will have regular sessions and will show progress too.

Talking to a private media outlet, Dr Sanaullah Abbasi said: “We want the family to appear before the inquiry committee as soon as possible so that a case is registered.”

The committee will hold more sessions and new developments will be made, he added.

Naqeebullah’s cousin Nur Rehman said he had pointed out to the police the security concerns the deceased’s family now faces.

After Nur Rehman raised the family’s concerns regarding security with AIG Abbasi, the head of the inquiry committee, and District Inspector General East Sultan Khawaja, the family was assured of the provision of security.

Later in the day, the KP IG sent two vehicles of the Elite Force to provide security to Naqeebullah’s family, expected to arrive by air, on their way to Karachi.

The Elite Force convoy met the political agent of South Waziristan in Tank, where it was decided that Naqeebullah’s family will be brought to the tribal agency’s border post from where the police team will take over their security and move to DI Khan.

JI CHIEF THREATENS ‘GRAND RALLY’ IN KARACHI:

Speaking to reporters in the same day, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq threatened the Sindh government with a “grand rally” on January 31 “comprising all ethnicities in the city” if concrete steps were not taken within 10 days to ensure justice in Naqeebullah’s killing case.

Siraj demanded a judicial commission be formed to probe the case, the report of which would be submitted to the chief justice. “We won’t accept any reports if a judicial commission is not formed,” he said.

“Anwar’s removal is not enough, we want to see him in court,” he said.

The JI chief emphasised that the issue does not pertain to only a particular community but is the result of indiscriminate police brutality against the city’s residents.

He criticised former SSP Rao Anwar and said every resident of Karachi says the police official is a murderer.

“Extrajudicial killings are Rao Anwar’s speciality,” he said, demanding the Sindh chief minister and PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari of taking action against him.

After the killing of the Pashtun youth in the alleged encounter, Anwar had accused the slain suspects of involvement in several high-profile terror cases and ties with terrorist outfits Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and the militant Islamic State (IS). However, Naqeebullah had not been specifically named.

Moreover, a relative of Naqeebullah, whose national identity card bears the name Naseemullah, claimed that the deceased was, in fact, a shop owner fond of modelling.

The killing triggered widespread uproar in the social media that had pushed the authorities to take action against the police party that was allegedly involved in the murder.

Anwar, called the ‘encounter specialist’ by some, is known for carrying out encounters of a controversial nature against outlaws. The majority of such cases remain unquestioned, apart from the few where the families of those shot dead move the court or stage protests.

Source: Pakistan today

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