KARACHI: A day after he announced boycott of an inquiry committee investigating Naqeeb Ullah Mehsud’s killing in a staged encounter, SP Rao Anwar neither appeared before police investigators nor before a high-powered National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) delegation at the office of the inspector general of police on Monday, fuelling speculations that he went underground to avoid arrest.
Newly posted SP-Investigation (East) Abid Qaimkhani told Dawn that the former Malir SSP was not present at his Malir Cantt residence when a police team went there to serve a notice regarding his appearance before him as well as the IGP in connection with the Jan 13 encounter.
He said that the police team pasted the notice on his house, giving him a chance to record his statement and present evidence about the killing of Naqeeb.
He said he chose not to appear before police investigators and there was no response when tried to contact him over phone. “As far as we know he is still in the country.”
Jirga decides to lodge FIR under anti-terrorism law
SP Qaimkhani said when Rao Anwar had appeared before the inquiry team on Friday, his verbal statement was recorded but now the investigators needed his written statement and evidence.
He said that five senior police officers belonging to the Counter-Terrorism Department, Special Branch and Investigation branch of East and West zones were assisting the investigation into the encounter.
He said a strict departmental action would be taken against Rao Anwar and his team for failing to appear before the investigators.
The SP said that only a notice was pasted at his house, but no raid was carried out on his residence.
On Sunday, the controversial police officer did not appear before a three-member inquiry committee, as he announced boycott of the proceedings.
NCHR wants case against Rao
SP Anwar also failed to appear before the IGP at the Central Police Office, where an NCHR team had arrived to probe the extrajudicial killings, including the Naqeeb murder case.
An NCHR statement said that its members in their meeting with IGP A.D. Khowaja expressed their concerns over the role of Rao Anwar and demanded a judicial inquiry against him.
NCHR commissioner Anis Haroon told Dawn that the body had initiated a probe into extrajudicial killings, particularly of Naqeeb, on the directives of the speaker of the National Assembly and under the given mandate the team members called on the IGP at his office, where members of the police inquiry team were also present.
She expressed her concern about the role of Rao Anwar and his absence in the meeting.
She demanded a thorough inquiry against the former Malir SSP and registration of an FIR against him.
IGP Khowaja assured the delegation that a comprehensive inquiry was under way and a due course of action would follow without any prejudice.
“NCHR chairman retired Justice Ali Nawaz Chohan will make the findings public as soon as the investigation is completed,” said the statement. “The commission is fully aware of people’s grievances against Rao Anwar and supports the demand for a judicial inquiry against him.”
Family to lodge Naqeeb murder FIR today
The Pakhtun community, particularly belonging to the Mehsud tribe, held a jirga in Sohrab Goth on Monday and decided to lodge an FIR against the policemen responsible for the killing of Naqeeb on Tuesday under anti-terrorism law.
Naqeeb’s father, Mohammed Khan, who also arrived from Waziristan earlier in the day, also addressed the participants in the jirga.
He expressed his gratitude to the whole nation and the media for raising voice against the extrajudicial killing of his son.
He said that his son was innocent and expressed the hope that he would get justice.
Zafar Mehsud, one of the organisers of the jirga, told Dawn that several other members of the Mehsud tribe were still ‘missing’ and the jirga received applications from the families in this regard.
He said the jirga’s main demand was to hold a judicial commission against the killing of Naqeeb and other Mehsuds and provision of justice to the victims’ heirs.
He said Fata MNA Maulana Jamaludin, local leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Awami National Party and other religious and political parties also attended the jirga.
Published in Dawn, January 23rd, 2018