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KARACHI: Recalcitrant police officer Rao Anwar Ahmed retired from police service while being suspended and facing trial for killing four men, including South Waziristan youngster Naqeebullah Mehsud, in a fake encounter last year, official sources said on Tuesday.

They said that the 30-year-long career of Rao Anwar, who had been enlarged on bail in the Naqeeb murder case, in police ended as he attained the age of superannuation.

He joined police in 1982 as an assistant sub-inspector and rose to the rank of SSP. Most years of his service remained controversial because of his involvement in various “encounters,” they added.

As the SSP-Malir, Rao Anwar along with DSP Qamar Ahmed Shaikh and several other officials was booked for killing four men, including Naqeeb, in a fake encounter in Shah Latif Town on Jan 13, 2018. He was also booked for foisting fake recoveries of illicit arms and explosives on the victims.

After protest by the civil society and anger over social media, the Supreme Court took suo motu notice and ordered his arrest. Furthermore, protests staged by the Mehsud tribe and the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) lent impetus to the call for justice for Naqeeb.

He went into hiding soon after demands for his arrest in the Naqeeb murder case gained traction after it came to light that the victim had been a shopkeeper and aspiring model from Waziristan who had settled in Karachi.

He was then arrested in March 2018 when he finally appeared before the Supreme Court after eluding law enforcement agencies for over a month. After spending more than three months in prison, an Anti-Terrorism Court granted him bail which led to his release.

Published in Dawn, January 2nd, 2019