Investigating report confirms no criminal record against deceased shot dead in fake encounter in Karachi. Second boy Intezar was killed by another senior police officer
KARACHI: Extra-judicial killings, kidnapping and torturing on innocent people are considered so called professional tactics to get a confessing statement from accused in Pakistan. Two recent murders of similar nature in Karachi have become topic of the media and general discussions.
In one case, a senior police officer SSP Rao Anwar who is notoriety recognised as master of encounters no matter fake or genuine. He is generally known for his encounters with Taliban and Al-Qaeda terrorists and now was booked on kidnapping, murder and terrorism charges here on Tuesday. Senior Superintendent of Police Anwar Ahmed Khan, popularly known as Rao Anwar, on Saturday, Jan. 13, claimed to have killed four terrorists who he said were associated with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Daesh.
Four days later, on Jan. 17, friends of one of the dead men, Nasimullah Mehsud, also known as Naqeebullah Mehsud, claimed on social media that the 24-yearold was an aspiring model not a terrorist. A day later the news made mainstream media after demonstrations in Karachi and Islamabad, pushing the authorities in Sindh to investigate.
A police committee interviewed police officials, including Rao Anwar, and concluded that the encounter was staged. The committee recommended that Rao Anwar and his lieutenants should be suspended and their names be placed on the Exit Control List (ECL), which means they cannot leave the country. Rao Anwar on Tuesday tried to leave the country but was stopped at Islamabad International Airport. Meanwhile, the head of the inquiry committee, Dr. Sanaullah Abbasi, visited the Mehsud jirga (traditional assembly of leaders) at Karachi’s Sohrab Goth neighborhood where he announced that the inquiry committee has found Mehsud innocent. He said that justice will be done.
A day earlier, Mehsud’s father arrived in Karachi from his home town in South Waziristan where his son was laid to rest and thanked Pakistanis for their support. “Today all of Pakistan has raised its voice for Naqeeb,” he told Arab News on Tuesday. Meanwhile, a First Information Report (FIR, which sets the process of criminal justice in motion) was registered at Sachal Police Station against Rao Anwar and nine other members of his team under the Pakistan Penal Code and Anti Terrorism Act.
“The sections cover kidnapping, threats, murder and terrorism,” SHO Sachal Shakir said. According to the FIR, Mehsud was picked up by Rao Anwar and nine members of his team at 3 p.m. on Jan. 3. “Naqeebullah was picked up along with two of his friends, namely Hazrat Alis/o ShakirAli and Mohammed Qasim S/o Daud, but both were freed at 10 p.m. on Jan. 6,” according to the FIR. A three-member bench of the Supreme Court will hear the case regarding Mehsud on Wednesday.
The court has ordered the suspended police officer to appear in the court. Rao Anwar: Rao Anwar, who was recently removed from his post over his alleged involvement in the extrajudicial killing of aspiring model Naqeebullah Mehsud, demanded on Thursday that a joint investigation team (JIT) comprising members of intelligence agencies be formed to investigate the charges against him.
Talking to Dawn, An war said that he had demanded a JIT because the investigation against him was “one-sided”. The police officer has gone into hiding and refused to answer to any authority investigating him for extrajudicial killings of terrorist suspects. The former SSP today claimed that he was only following orders “to show no leniency to terrorists”. He further complained that officers “who had nothing to do” with the Naqeebullah operation were being included in the investigation. “Police are carrying out raids at their houses and misbehaving with their families,” he claimed, also accusing the police department of “undermining” the Karachi operation as well as disregarding the law.
“Police officials are addressing jirgas even though the Supreme Court and the Sindh High Court have imposed a ban on them,” he complained. In a separate statement issued to the media earlier the same day, Anwar also claimed that the decision to eliminate terrorists extra-judicially had been taken in an official meeting. In his statement, Anwar also insisted that he was innocent and that the officers who had filed a case against him had done so because of personal animosity. “The impression that I led an encounter in a personal capacity is wrong,” he said.
“I am a professional officer who follows principles.” Anwar also raised questions over the credibility of the officers investigating the case against him and alleged that their “hands are not clean either” and warned that he has “solid evidence”. “How many successful operations have been carried out by [Additional Inspector General of the Counter-Terrorism Department] Sanaullah Abbasi?” he asked.
Murder of Intezar The Counter-Terrorism Department officer investigating the killing of 19-year-old Intizar Ahmed in Karachi’s DHA, allegedly at the hands of Anti-Car Lifting Cell (ACLC) personnel, has termed the incident a “total failure” on the part of the police party involved.
In a statement issued on Thursday, CTD DIG Amir Farooqi, who was assigned the investigation by the inspector general of Sindh police, recommended the formation of a joint investigation team (JIT)to ascertain the individual roles of all police personnel involved in the killing.
On January 14, Intizar was chased down and shot dead allegedly by nine under cover ACLC personnel after he had reportedly failed to stop his car at a picket. Father’s complaint As the father of Intizar Ahmed insisted on the involvement of Anti-Car Lifting Cell’s (ACLC)former chief SSP Muqaddas Haider in the killing of his son, investigators on Wednesday claimed to have recorded the senior police officer’s statement.
Intizar had allegedly been killed by officials of the ACLC when they opened fire on his car on Khayaban-i-Ittehad for not stopping it at their indication on Jan 13. The investigators also claimed to have recorded the statement of a girl, Madiha Kayani, who was travelling with the victim at the time of the incident but silently disappeared from the crime scene instead of reporting it to the police, raising suspicion about her involvement in the crime. In the next phase, the investigators said, they would collect cell phone data of both persons and all the nine ACLC personnel.
The fresh series of allegations from the victim’s family had also convinced the police authorities to record the statement of Intizar’s father, Ishtiaq Ahmed, again.