KARACHI: An antiterrorism court has directed the police to ensure security to the father of Naqeebullah Mehsud, who is the complainant in the murder case of the aspiring Waziristan model, as he has not been appearing in court to testify against former SSP Rao Anwar and other policemen reportedly due to threats to his life.
Rao Anwar, then DSP Qamar Ahmed Shaikh along with their 25 detained and absconding subordinates have been charged with allegedly kidnapping for ransom Naqeeb and three others and killing them in a fake encounter by dubbing them as militants linked to banned Daesh [the Arabic acronym for the militant Islamic State group] and Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, foisting fake recoveries of weapons and explosives and hiding the evidence of the ‘fake’ encounter.
The killings that took place on Jan 13, 2018 in Shah Latif Town had sparked a wave of nationwide protests by human rights activists.
His lawyer says ‘companions’ of accused pressurising Mohammad Khan to not testify in Naqeeb murder case
The ATC-II judge, who is conducting the trial in the judicial complex inside the Karachi central prison, was set to record the statement of the complainant, Mohammad Khan, on Thursday, but he did not turn up.
His counsel Salahuddin Ahmed moved an application in court stating that his client was not able to appear before the court to record his statement due to serious threats and mental torture by the companions/sources of accused persons, who had been continuously pressurising the complainant from different sources to not record his testimony in court.
It was stated in the application that the complainant had disclosed his grievances before the court in previous hearings that he, witnesses and his counsel were under serious threat due to influence of the accused persons.
The counsel further stated that earlier the complainant had filed an application under Section 21 (protection to judges, counsel, public prosecutor, witnesses and persons concerned with court proceedings) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 and the court had issued directions several times to the inspector general of police for ensuring security to the complainant, his witnesses and the counsel.
However, no serious efforts were made for provision of adequate security to them till date, the applicant stated.
Advocate Panhwar requested the judge to adjourn the hearing of the case till the next date with a direction to the IGP to ensure adequate security to him, the complainant and witnesses in the interest of justice.
After hearing arguments from the complainant’s counsel, the judge issued a notice to the investigating officer of the case directing him to ensure compliance of the court’s directives regarding provision of security to the complainant, the witnesses and his counsel.
The judge fixed the matter for May 25.
Mohammad Khan had lodged a case against 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 the 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 Sections 3 and 4 of the Explosives Act and Section 21-I(A) of the Sindh Arms Act, 2013.
Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2019