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KARACHI: An antiterrorism court on Saturday issued a notice to the investigation officer of the Naqeebullah Mehsud murder case registered against former Malir SSP Rao Anwar and other police officials for his incessant absence during the hearings of the case.

The judge expressed extreme displeasure over the absence of SP Dr Rizwan Ahmed, the investigation officer, and observed that the court might be informed if the police officer was not interested in his duty.

The court ordered the investigation officer to appear in court along with a reply to the show-cause issued to him for his absence.

Rao Anwar allowed to leave city to celebrate Eid

The hearing was adjourned until Sept 18 when the court would hear arguments on the acquittal application of SSP Rao.

Rao’s leave

Meanwhile, the ATC allowed former Malir SSP Rao Anwar, the prime accused in the Naqeebullah murder case, to leave the city for any part of the country.

Granting Rao’s application to leave the city, the court observed that he could not leave the country.

The former SSP Malir had moved the court seeking permission to leave the city to celebrate Eidul Azha with his family.

He submitted in the application that his family was reaching the country from Dubai to celebrate Eid with him.

He asked the court to allow him to leave the city on the occasion of Eid as he had life threats from extremists.

The police officer had gone into hiding soon after demands for his arrest in the Naqeebullah murder case had gained traction.

He had then resurfaced in a dramatic manner at the Supreme Court, from where he was arrested.

Soon after his arrest, his house in Malir Cantonment was declared a sub-jail. He had later moved an application for provision of ‘B’ class facilities in the Karachi Central Jail. The court had accepted Anwar’s application for better facilities, including an exemption from being handcuffed.

The suspended SSP Malir got into hot water after alleged extrajudicial killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud, a young man found very active in sharing his pictures on social media.

The 27-year-old budding model was killed along with three others on Jan 13 in a ‘staged’ encounter allegedly on the orders of the former Malir SSP.

The 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 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.

Published in Dawn, August 19th, 2018