KARACHI: An anti-terrorism court on Thursday dismissed five cases against Naqeebullah Mehsud and three other men who were killed in a ‘staged’ police encounter in Karachi.
An aspiring model, Naqeebullah was among four suspects killed in a staged police encounter carried out in January 2018 by former Malir SSP Rao Anwar and his team at Usman Khaskheli Goth on the outskirts of Karachi.
The ATC decision came in light of an inquiry report that dismissed allegations levelled by SSP Anwar that Naqeebullah, Sabir, Nazar Jan and Ishaq were Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants.
According to the report, evidence suggested the encounter was staged.
The inquiry committee has declared the murders of Naqeebullah and his associates ‘extrajudicial killings’, and its report states that weapons were planted on the victims after they were murdered by Anwar and his team.
Shortly after the news of the fake encounter surfaced, a high-level inquiry committee comprising senior police officials had also concluded that the deceased had no ties with militants. The inquiry team probing the extrajudicial killing found that the Waziristan native was killed in a ‘staged’ encounter on January 13, 2018.
The incident garnered outrage leading to countrywide protests. The Supreme Court of Pakistan took a suo motu notice of the matter and summoned Anwar – who went underground.
On January 23, 2018, Anwar was caught by immigration officials at the Islamabad airport trying to board a Dubai-bound flight. However, the former cop, again, went missing after eluding law enforcement agencies.
He finally appeared before the apex court on March 21, 2018, and was arrested on the directives of former chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar.