KARACHI: Police submitted on Thursday an interim charge sheet before the administrative judge of antiterrorism courts against former senior superintendent of police Rao Anwar and other police officials in the Naqeebullah Mehsud murder case.

However, despite the fact the investigation of the case is being conducted by an officer of SSP rank and an additional inspector general police is supervising it, the offences related to misuse of authority by public servants and foisting explosives on the deceased were not included in the interim report.

Investigating officer SSP Abid Ali Qaimkhani charge-sheeted 10 detained police officials in the interim investigation report and showed then SSP Malir Rao Anwar Ahmed Khan and 14 other police officials as absconders.

The interim report said that it was a case of extrajudicial killing against the then serving police officials. However, Section 220 (commitment for trial or confinement by person having authority who knows that he is acting contrary to law) of the Pakistan Penal Code was not made part of the charge sheet.

Axact chief’s bail application rejected

Moreover, another investigation report submitted on Feb 24 before the same court in five cases lodged against Naqeeb and three other deceased said that after killing them in a staged encounter, police officials foisted pistols and hand grenades on the deceased, adding that the IO had sent a request for permission from the provincial home department to lodge a case against the police party under the Sindh Arms Act, 2013 for foisting weapons on the victims, but it was silent about legal action regarding alleged recovery of explosives.

Similarly, the IO did not incorporate the relevant sections of the Explosives Substances Act, 1908 against the suspects in the interim report and it was also silent whether a separate FIR was lodged in that regard or police sought any permission from the home department to prosecute the nominated police officials in an explosives case.

The interim report said that two witnesses, picked up with Naqeeb, deposed in their statements recorded by a judicial magistrate under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code that policemen in plainclothes picked up them and Naseemullah, better known as Naqeebullah Mehsud, and took them to the Sachal police post, where they were separated from Naqeeb and when one of the witnesses asked the policemen about their abduction, a policeman replied that they were being taken to see Rao Anwar and then they (captives) would go to heaven.

Later, the witnesses said that they were taken to an unknown location where they also saw Naqeeb and when one of them inquired from Naqeeb he said that police were demanding Rs1 million for his release, but he could not arrange even Rs50,000.

According to the interim report, the witnesses further testified that after two days, a policeman told them that they had forgiven them and left both witnesses abandoned on the Superhighway and later they came to know through the media that Rao Anwar and his associates had allegedly killed Naqeeb and three others in a staged encounter in a Shah Latif Town area on Jan 13 and dubbed them as militants.

Both the witnesses also rightly picked out some detained policemen during the identification parade before a judicial magistrate, it added.

The IO also cited the statement of a head constable, said to be a close aide of then Shah Latif Town SHO Amanullah Marwat, in the interim charge sheet. The policeman deposed that on Jan 13 Marwat called him at the place of incident and upon arriving there he found the SHO and other police officials present there while the four detained men were also in their custody.

In the meantime Rao Anwar, DSP Qamar Ahmed Shaikh, then SHO Sohrab Goth Shoaib Shaikh, alias Shooter, and other police officials also arrived there and then Marwat, Shoaib and others took the detained men to an abandoned poultry farm, the head constable added.

He further said that they heard gunshots and thereafter Marwat and other police officials came out of the poultry farm and asked him to do the paperwork, adding that he found the bodies of the detained men in the building.

The interim charge sheet further said that a case on the complaint of Naqeeb’s father was registered on Jan 23 against Rao Anwar and others in the light of the findings of a three-member inquiry committee, which said that prima facie the encounter was coordinated, fake and staged.

The Supreme Court had also taken notice of the killing after the incident sparked outrage on social media and protests by political, religious and rights organisations.

There are contradictions in the entries made after the alleged shoot-outs. Detained DSP Qamar had made these entries, the report said and added that the analysis of mobile phone data location also confirmed the presence of Rao Anwar and others at the crime scene.

The charge sheet said that according to the evidence collected so far, Rao Anwar played a central role in the case and the offences of kidnapping, demanding ransom and then killing Naqeeb and three others over non-payment and then destroying the evidence made out against the absconding SSP and other police officials.

The IO has placed 64 prosecution witnesses, including the family members and relatives of three other deceased — Mohammad Sabir, Nazar Jan and Mohammad Ishaq.

Axact chief’s bail plea dismissed

A sessions court dismissed on Thursday the bail application of Axact chief executive officer Shoaib Shaikh in a money laundering case.

The Federal Investigation Agency arrested the chief of Axact on Feb 26 after the Sindh High Court had annulled a decision of the trial court about his acquittal.

The suspect through his lawyer moved a bail application and after hearing arguments from both sides, the additional district and sessions judge (South) dismissed the application.

Baldia factory fire case

An antiterrorism court recorded on Thursday the evidence of seven doctors in the Baldia factory fire case.

Over 250 workers were burnt alive when a multistorey garment factory building in Baldia Town was set on fire in September 2012 over non-payment of protection money.

Seven medico-legal officers (MLOs) of the Abbasi Shaheed and Civil hospitals appeared before the ATC-VII judge, who is conducting trial at the judicial complex inside the central prison, and recorded their testimonies.

The MLOs deposed that they had conducted a post-mortem examination of around 70 bodies, adding that they were badly charred.

The court adjourned the hearing till March 8 for the evidence of other MLOs. Around 70 MLOs had conducted the post-mortem examination of over 250 bodies.

MQM-P lawmaker Rauf Siddiqui, then MQM sector in-charge Abdul Rehman, alias Bhola, Zubair alias Charya and others are facing the trial.

Published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2018