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SC steps in after outrage over Naqeeb’s killing

Updated January 20, 2018

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KARACHI: An angry crowd blocks the Superhighway at Al-Asif Square on Friday during a protest against the alleged extrajudicial killing of a resident of Waziristan Naqeeb Ullah Mehsud.—Online
KARACHI: An angry crowd blocks the Superhighway at Al-Asif Square on Friday during a protest against the alleged extrajudicial killing of a resident of Waziristan Naqeeb Ullah Mehsud.—Online

ISLAMABAD / KARACHI: The Supreme Court on Friday took notice of the killing of 27-year-old Naqeeb Ullah Mehsud on the outskirts of Karachi and sought a report of the alleged fake encounter from the Sindh police chief within a week as formal investigation got under way amid protests against the incident by political parties, religious groups and rights organisations.

Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar took notice of the incident when it came to his attention that Mehsud, who had been living in Karachi since 2008, was aspiring to become a model but was killed in a shoot-out with police, according to a Supreme Court announcement.

As photographs of the youngster and his family members went viral on social media and parliamentarians from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas raised their voice in the National Assembly against the ‘extrajudicial’ killing, a number of Pakhtun community members along with political party representatives blocked traffic on the Superhighway on Friday evening and demanded removal of Malir SSP Rao Anwar Ahmed.

Political parties join hands to protest ‘extrajudicial murder’ of youth from Waziristan; police investigators grill Malir SSP Rao Anwar

Mehsud was one of the suspects killed in what police described as an encounter in Shah Latif Town on Jan 13. However, the claim was rejected by the protesters who blamed the police for taking him into custody two weeks earlier.

On Friday, the police investigators grilled the Malir SSP, recorded statements of civil society representatives and visited the site of the “encounter”, the police authorities said, adding that they would complete the probe within three days.

The inquiry committee, headed by Additional IG Counter-Terrorism Department of Sindh police Dr Sanaullah Abbasi and comprising DIG East Sultan Ali Khowaja and DIG South Azad Khan, was formed by the Sindh police chief to probe the veracity of a ‘police encounter’ in which Naseemullah, better known as Naqeeb Ullah Mehsud, was shot dead by the Malir police. The investigators had been assigned not only to “assess and conduct genuineness of the encounter of Malir police” but also to “dig out the profile of the deceased namely Naseemullah alias Naqeeb Mehsud.”

In his brief talk to the media after recording his statement at the CTD office, SSP Rao Anwar said he was 100pc sure that the deceased was a militant. “Naqeeb Ullah was wanted in a kidnap case registered at the Sachal police station in 2014,” he added.

About the allegation of a fake encounter, the Malir SSP said that those officers who worked to purge society of criminals had to face such charges.

Separately, civil society activists Jibran Nasir and Hashim Khan also appeared before the committee and recorded their statement. They told the media that they knew Naqeeb Ullah through his social media activities.

The investigators also visited the Central Prison Karachi and reportedly recorded statement of the alleged accomplices of Naqeeb. Later, the team members also visited the site of the encounter in Shah Latif Town.

CTD chief Dr Sanaullah Abbasi told the media that they had completed the first phase of the probe. The family members of the deceased were not in the city, he added. DIG Khowaja said a message had been sent to the family to record their statement. He said the committee would not tolerate any external pressure.

Protest on highway

Meanwhile, a number of Pakhtun community members staged a protest demonstration on the Superhighway by blocking traffic near Sohrab Goth.

Zafar Mehsud, a local leader of the Awami National Party and one of the organisers, told Dawn that Mehsud and other Pakhtun communities living in Karachi had staged a ‘peaceful’ protest on the highway to condemn the ‘extrajudicial’ killings and removal of the Malir SSP. He said representatives of the PTI, PSP, JUI, JI and other parties also joined their protest.

The protesters blocked the highway for some time and dispersed peacefully though the police once resorted to firing into the air. The blockade caused an hour-long traffic jam on the highway, the motorway police official said.

Fata parliamentarians, NCHR

Meanwhile, two parliamentarians from Fata, Jamal Din and Shahjee Gul Afridi, protested the killing of Naqeeb Ullah Mehsud, demanding an in-depth probe into the incident by a parliamentary committee and punishment to the Malir SSP. Mr Afridi said Mehsud could not be a terrorist as he had been issued a Watan card by the National Database and Registration Authority.

Also, National Commission for Human Rights Chairman retired Justice Ali Nawaz Chowhan condemned the incident and sought a detailed inquiry report of the incident along with the one that was reported in Karachi’s Defence area last week from the Sindh police chief by Jan 25.

Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2018