KARACHI: Expressing its annoyance over the absence of prosecution witnesses, an antiterrorism court on Tuesday directed the investigating officer to produce them on Aug 19 for recording their testimonies in a case pertaining to killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud and three others in an alleged ‘staged’ encounter.
The then SSP Malir Rao Anwar, the then DSP Qamar Ahmed Shaikh along with around 25 of their subordinates have been charged with kidnapping for ransom Naseebullah Mehsud, better known as Naqeebullah, and three others and killing them in a fake encounter by declaring them militants linked with the banned Daesh and Lashkar-i-Jhangvi outfits in January 2018.
The killing of Naqeebullah, an aspiring model from Waziristan, and others in Shah Latif Town had sparked a wave of nationwide protests by human rights activists.
On Tuesday, the ATC-III judge was set to record the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses, including the complainant. However the witnesses failed to turn up before the court.
Advocate Salahuddin Panhwar informed that complainant Mohammad Khan, the father of deceased Naqeebullah, could not appear before the court to record his statement since he was ill.
The judge directed the investigating officer, SSP Dr Rizwan Ahmed, to ensure the presence of the complainant and other witnesses on the next date for recording their testimonies and fixed the matter on Aug 19.
The judge also directed the state prosecutor and complainant’s counsel Salahuddin Panhwar to argue on the bail applications moved by two former police officials — assistant sub-inspector Ali Akbar and police constable Raees — on the next date.
Khan Mohammad had lodged a case against the then SSP Rao Anwar and his subordinates under Sections 365-A (kidnapping for ransom), 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), 344 (wrongful confinement for 10 or more days), 302 (premeditated murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender), 202 (intentional omission to give information of offence by person bound to inform), 114 (abettor present when offence is committed) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 (acts of terrorism) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.
A second case was also lodged against Rao Anwar and others by the former IO for allegedly foisting false recoveries of illicit arms, ammunition and explosives on the victims under relevant sections of the law.
Bread-making unit sealed
A consumer court on Tuesday directed the director-general of health to seal a bread production unit for not registering its business in compliance with the court’s directives.
Judicial magistrate Javed Ali Korejo of the consumer protection court (East) also sentenced the bread manufacturing unit’s owner Shaikh Junaid Iqbal to one-year imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs100,000.
On May 31, the court directed the owner of the unit to pay Rs50,000 fine within 30 days for continuing its business without mandatory registration with the Sindh Food Authority. The owner was told to get his business registered with the authority.
Published in Dawn, August 7th, 2019