KARACHI: Rao Anwar – former SSP of Karachi’s district Malir – who is currently facing a departmental inquiry over the alleged extrajudicial killing of a 27-year-old Naseemullah alias Naqeebullah Mehsud, has gone into hiding along with his entire team.
Defying the Sindh police chief’s summons, SSP Anwar and his entire team comprising at least thirteen members did not appear on Monday morning before the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sindh Allah Dino Khowaja and members of the National Commission for Human Rights at the Central Police Office.
The SSP and his team members were also called to appear before the DIG East Sultan Khowaja and the Malir Investigations SP Abid Qaimkhani, but they did not show up there either.
“We have already summoned all including SSP Anwar multiple times but they are not cooperating with us,” said SP Qaimkhani. “SSP Anwar and his team members can be arrested if they continue non-cooperation with the police, especially after the FIR [against Naqeeb’s killing].”
Naqeeb, an aspiring model, was reportedly picked up by personnel in civvies from a teashop at Karachi’s Sohrab Goth area on January 3. On January 13 the police killed him along with three others, after declaring him an operative of the outlawed Tehreek-e- Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
Rao Anwar had claimed that Naqeeb also had links with other militant organisations. However, his murder whipped up a storm and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan accused Rao Anwar of the young man’s extrajudicial murder.
Later, the Sindh government formed the three-man committee, headed by the Additional IG Sanaullah Abbasi and comprising DIG Sultan Khowaja and DIG Azad Khan, to probe into the killing.
Meanwhile widespread protests were staged against Anwar and the Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar also took notice the incident and sought a report from IGP Sindh within seven days.
On Saturday Anwar was suspended on recommendation of the inquiry panel that also asked the government to place his name on the Exit Control List (ECL).
However, after appearing before the panel once, Anwar and his team had refused to show up at any forum. They are not available at their houses and their phones are also turned off.
Earlier in the day, a member of the inquiry panel DIG Sultan Khowaja while addressing a media briefing said there was no evidence to establish Naqeebullah was a terrorist. “The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police have been unable to find any proof that he carried out criminal activities,” he added.
Khowaja also calls into question Anwar’s claim made last week about a suicide attack on his convoy and says an in-depth investigation should be done into the suspected suicide bombing.
The inquiry committee member, however, assured that they will take the case forward in a transparent way based on the statement given by Naqeeb’s family.
“If SSP Anwar does not trust us, he should appear before any commission or platform which he thinks is better than us as he has a right to prove himself innocent,” he said.
Jirga in Karachi
Naqeeb’s family on Monday reached Karachi amid tight security to register a murder case against the alleged encounter with the District Malir police. The family is likely to approach the police today [Tuesday] for registration of the First Information Report (FIR).
Talking to media Naqeeb’s father Muhammad Khan said: “We want justice. We have come here to register a case against the notorious Rao Anwar. Everyone in Karachi knows about the character of Anwar,” he added.
Meanwhile, a grand Jirga, held in Karachi’s Sohrab Goth area, vowed to register a case against the SSP and his entire team as it demanded that sections of the murder and anti-terrorism clauses be also included in the FIR.