KARACHI: While an inquiry committee investigating the Naqeeb Ullah Mehsud murder case said an FIR would be lodged against whosoever is nominated by the victim’s family upon their arrival in the city, beleaguered SSP Rao Anwar conceded on Sunday that two of his associates might have detained the South Waziristan youngster and killed him with three other ‘genuine terrorists’ on the outskirts of Karachi.
Following the transfer of 11 SHOs, believed to be his lieutenants in Malir district, he also announced boycott of the proceedings of the inquiry committee that had already declared that Naqeeb was killed in a “staged” encounter.
Following his transfer as the Malir SSP and recommendation by the IGP to the interior ministry to put his name on the exit control list, Rao Anwar became defensive on Sunday and tried to distance himself from the Jan 13 “encounter” in which a total of four people, including Naqeeb, were killed.
Under-fire officer claims police team ‘misled’ him about ‘encounter’
He told Dawn that he had nothing to do with the incident even if it was proved as a staged encounter.
“I did not mess up the case,” he said. “Neither I picked up Naqeeb, nor interrogated him.”
He said he had given names of two policemen — Ali Akbar and Faisal — to the inquiry committee when he first appeared before it on Friday. “These two police officers may have detained Naqeeb, treated him as a terrorist and killed him with three other ‘genuine terrorists’,” he said.
Rao Anwar said that he had visited the scene “after the encounter” to raise the morale of the police team. He explained that he talked to the media after every encounter to protect his policemen.
“The police party might have misled me,” he said.
He claimed that even the IGP was “misled” by a police team that took part in an alleged encounter on Sharea Faisal on Saturday. He said the IGP announced a Rs200,000 cash reward for the police team which actually killed an innocent passer-by, who was the only brother of five sisters.
Allegation of personal biases
He said he was being singled out and targeted in the Naqeeb killing case.
“If I had been dishonest with the inquiry committee, I would not have provided them the names of two policemen,” he said.
He said he had received a letter from the inquiry team for appearing before it on Monday (today).
“I have decided to boycott the proceedings of the police inquiry team,” he announced.
He said that he had taken this decision as two members of the inquiry team — Counter Terrorism Department chief Sanaullah Abbasi and DIG-East Sultan Khowaja — had “personal biases” against him as instead of asking him about the incident, they were bent upon implicating him in the case.
Meanwhile, the inquiry committee approached the relatives of the the deceased to record their statements.
Talking to the media, CTD chief Abbasi, the head of the probe body, said that the victim’s family was on their way to Karachi from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the police also provided them full security.
Late on Sunday night, DIG Khowaja told reporters that the inquiry committee did not find any criminal record of Naqeeb in Karachi or police stations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
“We have asked Rao Anwar and his team to appear before us today, but they did not come,” he said, adding that the police were conducting a transparent probe in compliance with the directives of the Supreme Court.
He said a case would be registered against anyone to be nominated by Naqeeb’s family.
11 SHOs transferred
Almost all SHOs of Malir district were transferred on Sunday in view of their proximity with their former boss, Rao Anwar.
According to a notification issued by Additional IG Dr Aftab Pathan, the 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.
They were transferred on the recommendation of DIG-East Khowaja, who was one of the members of the inquiry committee probing the killing of Naqeeb.
Published in Dawn, January 22nd, 2018