KARACHI: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) granted on Tuesday bail to former Malir SSP Rao Anwar accused of being involved in the killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud and four others in a fake encounter.
The ATC had reserved the verdict on the former Malir SSP's bail plea on July 4. He was granted bail against a sum of Rs1 million. The investigation officer (IO) of the case, Dr Rizwan, did not attend the court to which the judge expressed his displeasure. The ATC adjourned the hearing of the case till July 27.
The former Malir SSP has also been booked in a case pertaining to illegal possession of explosives. The hearing of the case has been fixed on July 16.
Naqeebullah murder case: Rao Anwar appears in ATC
After obtaining bail, SSP Anwar talked to media personnel and claimed that he had been falsely implicated in the case. He added that he would disclose the names of people who framed him in the case at a suitable time.
The former Malir said that by obtaining bail, he had proved that he was innocent. He went on to say that those who kidnapped Naqeebullah and others and those who fired at them had not been identified in the case.
I was not present at the crime scene, SSP Anwar said, adding that none of the witnesses named him during the hearing.
The petitioner's lawyer, Salahuddin Panhwar, claimed that bail was granted because of the IO's absence. He suggested that a formal complaint be sent to the inspector-general of police against the IO.
Suspects in Naqeebullah murder provided case copies
The counsel for Naqeebullah's father, Faisal Siddiqui, said that the family was resolute to pursue the case and have SSP Anwar convicted. He informed the media that he would file a plea against the investigation officer (IO) and prosecution for damaging the case and would ask to transfer the case to another court.
Siddiqui claimed that the release of the former Malir SSP was a threat to society and the family would challenge the verdict in the Sindh High Court. He alleged that the government tried to help SSP Anwar in every way.
Commenting on SSP Anwar's bail, elders of the Mehsud tribe accused the IO of playing a shameful role in the case. "Rao Anwar would be Zardari's brave child but we have still not lost our hopes," an elder said, referring to a past statement of Pakistan Peoples Party Co-Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari in which he had termed the former Malir SSP a bahadur bacha (brave child).
The elders remarked that they felt like lifting the coffin of Naqeebullah once again when SSP Anwar was granted bail. They added that they would approach the higher courts to ensure that justice was served to the perpetrators.
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