ISLAMABAD, Jan 18: The high-profile rental power projects (RPP) case took a bizarre turn on Friday when an officer of the National Accountability Bureau investigating the scam was found dead in his room under mysterious circumstances. It is yet to be ascertained whether it was a suicide or murder.

Kamran Faisal, 35, who was investigating the scam along with another officer Asghar Khan, was found hanging from a ceiling fan in his official residence at Federal Lodges.

It has been learnt that Mr Faisal was investigating the RPP scam under ‘pressure’ and had recently requested the Supreme Court to exclude him from the case.

“He had requested the apex court to keep him away from the investigation,” NAB’s Deputy Director Mohammad Irfan said.

Mr Faisal’s father ruled out the possibility of his son committing suicide because of any family problem.

The post-mortem on his body was carried out in Poly Clinic Hospital by a panel of doctors and a preliminary report will be issued on Saturday.

While police are investigating the case from different angles, the NAB’s security and intelligence wing is trying to ascertain the real cause of the investigator’s death.

“I am saddened by the sudden death of my colleague,” NAB Chairman Admiral (retd) Fasih Bukhari said during a visit to Kamran Faisal’s residence.

The Supreme Court had on Tuesday ordered the NAB chairman to file a reference against 16 accused in the RPP scam case, including the prime minister, and arrest them without hesitation.

Although police said they believed it was a suicide, circumstantial evidences are said to be contrary to the claim. According to police, no mark of injures was found on the body of Mr Faisal.

No FIR has been registered so far. Only a simple report was lodged under Section 174 of Criminal Procedure Code. Police said they would proceed further after receiving the autopsy report.

“The typical sign of hanging -- a vertical mark of ‘V’ -- was found around the neck,” a senior police official said.

According to police, no signs of resistance were found in the room, but his bed was in an odd position and evidence suggested that he had used a table and a chair to hang himself, if it was a suicide.

According to police, Mr Faisal used a table and a chair to climb up to the noose, but it was observed that his feet were hardly touching the chair while hanging.

Secretariat Police Station SHO Qasir Abbas said police had been informed about the incident by NAB’s Sub-Inspector Mumtaz Ahmed.

But the NAB official said the information had been given by police who were already on the crime scene when NAB officials reached there.

Sub-Inspector Ahmed said Mr Faisal lived alone in the house while his wife and two daughters lived in his ancestral town near Mianchannu in Punjab.

The six-member panel comprising physicians, pathologists and orthopaedics took samples from the body of Mr Faisal for chemical and pathological examination to establish the cause of death. After the autopsy, the body was handed over to his family.

The victim’s father Chaudhry Abdul Hameed, a retired bureaucrat, told Dawn that his son was neither under any stress nor had he received threats from anyone.

“He talked to me last night at 9.20pm and was behaving normally. He couldn’t have committed suicide,” Mr Hameed said. “He had been working on the RPP case since May last year and often discussed official matters with me.” But an uncle of Mr Faisal told a private TV channel that his nephew was under tremendous pressure because of the RPP investigation.