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KARACHI: Senior superintendent of police Rao Anwar, known for carrying out controversial encounters, the provincial police chief and other provincial authorities were ordered on Monday by the Sindh High Court to file their replies on a constitutional petition seeking an impartial inquiry into the killing of 250 people in shootouts led by the SSP.

A two-judge bench also directed the provincial law officer to ensure the filing of comments of the respondent authorities, and put off the matter to Feb 20.

The petition against SSP Rao, who came in limelight recently for an umpteenth time after the killing of budding model Naqeeb Ullah Mehsud, was filed by a civil right campaigner and practising lawyer, Advocate Muzammil Mumtaz, who also impleaded the home secretary as one of the respondents.

The petitioner asked the court to constitute a high-profile committee to investigate the killing of 250 persons in ‘fake encounters’ led by SSP Rao Anwar.

He informed the judges that Rao Anwar had been serving as Malir SSP for quite a long period and during his tenure he led hundreds of ‘staged encounters’ but none of them was scrutinised impartially.

Advocate Muzammil said the SSP, recently placed under suspension, had misused his powers.

The suspended SSP landed into hot water after alleged extrajudicial killing of 27-year old Naqeeb Ullah Mehsud, a handsome young man found very active in sharing his pictures on social media.

The killing led to a national outcry after Mehsud’s modelling pictures posted on social media went viral, sparking anger and protest rallies in several cities.

The 27-year-old victim’s family and friends rejected the claims of militant links and said he was an aspiring model who arrived in the city in 2008 in search of job and had been running a shop in the city.

The SSP was placed under suspension after a government committee interrogated him and recommended his immediate removal “to ensure fair and transparent inquiry of the incident and investigation of the case”.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar has also taken notice of the incident and ordered the provincial government to submit a report about the killing within a week.

Published in Dawn, January 23rd, 2018