KARACHI: A joint investigation team (JIT) formed under the directives of the Supreme Court has held suspended SSP Rao Anwar Ahmed Khan and three others responsible for the killing of Naqeeb Ullah Mehsud in a fake encounter in Karachi on Jan 13, it emerged on Friday.

“The JIT found Rao Anwar guilty of killing an innocent person, Naqeeb Ullah Mehsud, in a fake encounter,” said a JIT member who wished not to be named.

The JIT led by Additional Inspector General Dr Aftab Pathan has completed its findings and submitted them before the competent authority, Dawn has learnt.

The apex court issued directives for formation of a JIT in the human rights case No 1949-K/2018 on March 21.

Joint Investigation Team completes its findings in the case

The JIT held different sessions, recorded the statement of Rao Anwar, visited various avenues, including the place from where Naqeeb was allegedly kidnapped and where the alleged encounter took place in Shah Latif Town. After formation of the JIT on the directives of the apex court, the investigation of the case was transferred from SP-Investigation Abid Qaimkhani.

Subsequently, after approval of the JIT, SSP-Central Dr Muhammad Rizwan Ahmed was appointed as the investigation officer for three FIRs.

The first FIR (17/2018) was registered under Section 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 324 (attempted murder), 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 3/4 of the Exp­losive Substances Act read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act at the Shah Latif Town police station.

The second FIR (40/2018) was registered at the Sachal police station under Sections 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person), 302 (murder), 344 (wrongful confinement for ten or more days), 109 (abetment) and 34 of the PPC read with Section 7 of the ATA.

The third FIR (142/2018) was registered at the Shah Latif police station under Sections 26 of the Sindh Arms Act 2013 read with Section 3/4 of the Explosive Substances Act and Section 7 of the ATA.

It may be recalled that 11 police officials had already been arrested in the case before Rao Anwar was taken into custody after he surrendered before the SC in Islamabad on March 21.

Around 15 police officers have been declared as absconders in the case.

According to the IO’s report submitted before an antiterrorism court, policemen in plainclothes picked Naseemullah, better known as Naqeeb Ullah Mehsud, along with two other persons and took them to Sachal police post where the two others were separated from Naqeeb. 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 make their way to heaven.

Later, the two witnesses who were released by the police told the investigators 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 against his release, but he could not arrange even Rs50,000.

The report further stated the witness after being released came to know through 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.

Naqeeb’s father lodged a case on Jan 23 against Rao Anwar and others on the basis of findings of a three-member inquiry committee, which said that prima facie the encounter was coordinated, fake and staged.

The SC took notice of the killing after the incident sparked outrage at social media and protests by political and religious parties and rights organisations. The police investigators claimed that Rao Anwar played a central role in the case.

Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2018