–Lawyer for Naqeebullah Mehsud’s father says will challenge ATC verdict in high court
–Says state prosecutor and IO deliberately weakened murder case to facilitate former Malir SSP’s release on bail
KARACHI: Rao Anwar, a police officer notorious for killing people in fake encounters in Karachi, managed to obtain his freedom on bail in the Naqeebullah Mehsud murder case on Tuesday.
The former senior superintendent of police Malir district is being tried in an anti-terrorism court for his alleged involvement in the staged encounter that led to the killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud — a Waziristan native residing in Karachi.
The court ordered Anwar’s bail on submissions of surety bonds worth Rs1 million. The judge also announced that a decision on bail applications tabled by Anwar’s alleged accomplices will be taken on July 16.
Talking to reporters after the hearing, Anwar said, “It has been proven today that I was falsely accused in the case.”
“I would soon name those who conspired against me, just like they tried to do the same to ‘someone’ in the Murtaza Bhutto case,” he added.
He also repeated the arguments presented by his lawyers earlier that he was not present at the site where Naqeebullah and three others were killed.
On the other hand, the lawyer for Naqeebullah’s father expressed dissatisfaction with the decision.
He demanded that action is taken against prosecution and the IO for their role in weakening the case, adding that he would challenge the bail verdict in the Sindh High Court.
A statement issued by the legal counsel of Naqeebullah’s father stated, “We intend to take the following actions: (a) File for cancellation of his bail at the High Court. (b) Ask for the transfer of the case from the court of the ATC judge currently trying the case to some other ATC judge. (c) Instituting proceeding against the police and prosecution for not assisting the ATC court in the case and impliedly facilitating Rao Anwar’s grant of bail.”
Earlier, the police officer had gone into hiding after demands for his arrest in the murder came to surface. He had then resurfaced at the Supreme Court, from where he was arrested.
After his arrest, his house was declared a sub-jail. He had later moved an application for better facilities in the Karachi’s Central Jail, which was accepted by the court.
Moreover, the Investigating Officer (IO) SSP Dr Rizwan was not present during the hearing on Tuesday. Following this, the court stated that geo-fencing arguments could have been heard had the IO been present.
Moreover, a second case was registered against Anwar for possessing illegal weapons and explosives.
The ATC had reserved its verdict on Anwar’s bail petition on July 5.
On the July 4 hearing, Amir Mansoob Qureshi, the former SSP’s counsel, had argued in court that his client was absent from the crime scene.
The ATC judge had questioned, “The victims were shot from inside a room and from the back and how come they were not shot from the front during the encounter?”
To this, the counsel had replied, “Anwar was neither involved in catching Naqeebullah nor in the encounter.”