KARACHI: An anti-terrorism court on Wednesday reserved order on an application filed by former SSP Malir Rao Anwar seeking exemption from appearance in a case pertaining to killing of an aspiring Waziristan model Naqeebullah Mehsud in an alleged ‘staged’ encounter.
Former SSP Anwar along with his 13 detained and seven absconding subordinates has been charged with killing the 27-year-old aspiring model and three others in an alleged staged shoot-out after declaring them militants associated with Daesh and Lashkar-i-Jhangvi in Shah Latif Town on Jan 13, 2018.
On Wednesday, an application of Rao Anwar came up for hearing before the ATC-III judge, who is conducting the trial in the judicial complex inside the central prison.
In the plea, his counsel Amir Mansoob Qureshi said that Anwar was a high-profile target for terrorists since he carried out crackdowns on them during his tenure as police officer.
Even the Supreme Court had passed directions to provide foolproof security to the applicant, the counsel maintained.
Therefore, he requested the judge to exempt the applicant from personal appearances before the court in the present case unless his appearance was required by the court.
Opposing the plea, the complainant’s counsel Salahuddin Panhwar argued that Anwar was not serving as a police officer anymore which could second his claim of security threat, nor was the application maintainable under the provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997. He pleaded to reject the exemption plea.
After hearing arguments from both sides, the judge reserved his order on the plea to be announced on Thursday (today).
Meanwhile, the judge adjourned the hearing of the main case till May 3, directing Naqeebullah’s father, Khan Mohammad, to appear again to record his testimony.
According to the prosecution, Naqeebullah was killed along with three others — Sabir, Nazar Jan and Ishaq — in an alleged fake encounter in Shah Latif Town on Jan 13, 2018.
The then SSP of Malir Rao Anwar, the then DSP Qamar Ahmed Shaikh along with three others have been granted bail.
A total of 13 others, including Allah Yar Kaka, Mohammad Iqbal, Arshad Ali, Ghulam Nazuk, Abdul Ali, Shafiq Ahmed, Shakeel, Mohammad Anar, Khair Mohammad, Faisal Mehmood, Ali Akbar, Raees and Syed Imran Kazmi, are in custody.
Their seven alleged accomplices, including former SHO Amanullah Marwat, Shaikh Mohammad Shoaib, Gada Hussain, Mohsin Abbas, Sadaqat Hussain Shah, Rana Shamim and Riaz, are absconding till date.
According to the prosecution, the undertrial policemen had allegedly kidnapped for ransom Naqeebullah and his friends Hazrat Ali and Qasim from a teashop named Sher Agha Hotel on Abul Hassan Ispahani Road on Jan 4 last year.
After keeping them in illegal confinement and subjecting them to torture for two days, the accused released Ali and Qasim while Naqeeb was killed in a fake police encounter on Jan 13 over non-payment of ransom, it added.
Published in Dawn, April 25th, 2019