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Decision on Rao Anwar’s bail plea to be pronounced on 10th

Decision on Rao Anwar’s bail plea to be pronounced on 10th

KARACHI: An antiterrorism court reserved on Thursday its order on bail application of suspended SSP Rao Anwar in a case pertaining to extrajudicial killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud and three others in an alleged ‘staged’ encounter.

The ATC-II judge reserved the verdict after hearing concluding arguments from the counsel of the complainant and fixed July 10 for pronouncement of order.

A day earlier, the defence counsel, Advocate Amir Mansoob Qureshi, had concluded his arguments.

Dawn Investigation: Rao Anwar and the killing fields of Karachi

The suspended SSP and his 11 detained subordinates along with around 15 absconding officers are accused of abducting an aspiring model hailing from South Waziristan, Naseemullah, better known as Naqeebullah Mehsud, for ransom and killing him with three other detainees by dubbing them as ‘militants’ in a staged encounter in Malir on Jan 13.

On Wednesday, the undertrial police officer was brought to the court in an armoured personnel carrier escorted by several police mobile vans and produced in court amid tight security around the building of the Municipal Training and Research Institute (MTRI), which houses the ATCs, in Clifton.

Also read: Naqeebullah Mehsud's killing in an 'encounter' is the justice system's failure

All the detained policemen were handcuffed, except Rao Anwar, whom the court had previously ordered to be provided better facilities, including exemption from being handcuffed, during detention.

Advocate Salahuddin Panhwar, counsel for complainant Khan Mohammad argued that the son of his client was killed along with three others in a staged encounter at 3.21pm.

However, Rao held a press conference at 1.21pm where he confirmed killing of the four men in an alleged police encounter, the lawyer said and further argued that how the police officer could confirm the killing prior to the alleged encounter.

The counsel alleged that after killing Naqeebullah Mehsud and others the suspended SSP called the media personnel at the scene. Advocate Panhwar said the JIT constituted by the IG had found that Rao was involved in extrajudicial killings.

He further mentioned that the police inquiry had also unveiled that Rao had conducted various fake encounters prior to the killing of Mehsud and others.

Concluding his arguments, the complainant’s counsel said since the undertrial police officer was very powerful therefore his bail application may be dismissed.

A special public prosecutor simply opposed the bail plea. After hearing their arguments, the judge reserved the order on the bail plea to be announced on July 10.

In the meantime, the court also summoned the investigating officer, the defence and complainant’s counsel on Friday (today) to argue on the reports submitted by the IO, South SSP Dr Rizwan, relating to the Call Data Record (CDR) and geofencing of the mobile phones of the former SSP and his detained and absconding subordinates.

Published in Dawn, July 6th, 2018

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